Hong Kong stocks fell, with the benchmark index heading for a two-week low, as lenders led declines. Standard Chartered (2888) Plc plunged after saying operating profit at its consumer-banking unit will drop.
The Hang Seng Index (HSI) slid 0.4 percent to 23,640.34 as of 9:35 a.m. in Hong Kong, with about three shares dropping for each that rose. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index (HSCEI), also known as the H-share index, lost 0.3 percent to 11,335.08.
The Hang Seng Index climbed 20 percent from its June low through yesterday on signs China’s economy is stabilizing. The measure traded at 11.32 times estimated earnings yesterday, compared with 16.2 for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. The H-share index climbed 28 percent from this year’s low on June 25 as of yesterday after China unveiled sweeping reform plans.
Standard Chartered, a U.K. lender that gets 60 percent of its revenue in Asia, dropped 5.6 percent to HK$172.40 after saying full-year consumer-banking operating profit will decline at least 10 percent, hurt by its Korean business.
China Huiyuan Juice Group Ltd. (1886) lost 2.6 percent to HK$5.31 as it resumed trading today. The drink maker said it plans to to raise HK$382.5m million ($49.3 million) selling new shares to create working capital and repay debt.
Futures on the S&P 500 were little changed today. The gauge dropped 0.1 percent yesterday as investors weighed economic data for clues as to when the Federal Reserve will cut stimulus and amid optimism over a budget deal. A report showed companies boosted payrolls in November by the most in a year. A separate report showed U.S. services industries rose less than expected.
Central bank policy makers, who next meet on Dec. 17-18, will probably wait until March before reducing monthly bond purchases to $70 billion from $85 billion, according to a Bloomberg survey on Nov. 8.
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