Hong Kong stocks swung between gains and losses as energy producers fell after oil prices slid and as U.S. growth encouraged investors. Ping An Insurance (Group) Co. advanced after posting higher profit.
The Hang Seng Index (HSI) was little changed at 21,698.54 as of 9:34 a.m. in Hong Kong after rising as much as 0.1 percent. The gauge is headed for a 0.9 percent monthly drop ahead of expected cuts to U.S. stimulus. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index fell 0.2 percent to 9,835.17.
Hong Kong’s equity benchmark retreated 4.2 percent this year through yesterday, the worst performer among developed markets tracked by Bloomberg. The gauge traded at 10.39 times estimated earnings yesterday, compared with 14.87 for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and 13.69 on the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, also known as the H-share index, dropped 19 percent through yesterday from a Feb. 1 high after China’s growth slowed for two quarters. The measure traded at 1.18 times book value yesterday, compared with a five-year average of 1.77.
Futures on the S&P 500 rose 0.1 percent today. The U.S. equity gauge rose 0.2 percent yesterday after official data showed economic growth rose at a 2.5 percent annualized rate, up from an initial estimate of 1.7 percent. Jobless claims dropped by 6,000 to 331,000 last week, beating estimates.
The Federal Reserve has said any reduction in stimulus will be tied to signs of sustained economic recovery. The central bank is expected to pare asset purchases in September by $10 billion to a $75 billion monthly pace, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg on Aug. 9-13.
The prospect of imminent strikes on Syria eased after U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron failed to get parliamentary approval for military action against the regime for alleged use of chemical weapons. The U.S., which says it has evidence Syria’s government was responsible, won’t act without allies, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said yesterday.
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