Hong Kong stocks post fourth weekly drop as markets brace for more protestsReuters | Hong Kong | Updated: 16-08-2019 14:41 IST | Created: 16-08-2019 14:03 IST
Hong Kong stocks ended firmer on Friday but posted their fourth straight weekly decline as sentiment wilted amid worries over the global economic slowdown, the Sino-U.S. bruising tariff tussle and violent protests that threatened the island city's economy.
Hong Kong braced for more mass protests over the weekend, even as China warned it could use its power to quell demonstrations and U.S. President Donald Trump urged his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, to meet with the protesters to defuse weeks of tensions. The Hong Kong government unveiled an HK$19.1 billion ($2.44 billion) package on Thursday to support a slowing economy as escalating political protests and the prolonged U.S.-China trade war weigh heavily on the Asian financial centre.
Trump said on Thursday that U.S. and Chinese negotiators were holding "productive" trade talks and expected them to meet in September despite U.S. tariffs on over $125 billion worth of Chinese imports taking effect on Sept. 1. Nonetheless, Beijing on Thursday vowed to counter the latest U.S. tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese goods but called on Washington to meet it halfway on a potential trade deal.
Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.39%, while Japan's Nikkei index closed up 0.06%. The yuan was quoted at 7.0431 per U.S. dollar at 0814 GMT, 0.14% weaker than the previous close of 7.0333.
The top gainers among H-shares were China Resources Beer Holdings Co Ltd, which ended up 7.7%, followed by Shenzhou International Group Holdings Ltd, gaining 4.75% and CSPC Pharmaceutical Group Ltd, which closed 4.01% firmer. The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were Longfor Group Holdings Ltd, which ended down 2.88%, China Tower Corp Ltd, which closed 2.17% lower and CRRC Corp Ltd, which ended down by 1.61%.
About 2.02 billion Hang Seng index shares were traded, roughly 139.7% of the market's 30-day moving average of 1.45 billion shares a day. The volume traded in the previous trading session was 2.15 billion. At close, China's A-shares were trading at a premium of 30.91% over Hong Kong-listed H-shares.