Hong Kong stocks swung between gains and losses after growth in China’s industrial profits slowed, while a drop in U.S. jobless claims boosted confidence in the world’s largest economy.
The Hang Seng Index rose less than 0.1 percent to 23,189.94 as of 9:34 a.m. in Hong Kong, after falling as much as 0.2 percent. About five stocks declined for every four that gained on the 50-member gauge. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index (HSCEI), also known as the H-share index, slid 0.7 percent to 10,762.97. The markets reopened from a holiday that started from Dec. 24 afternoon trading.
The Hang Seng Index (HSI) climbed 17 percent from its June low through Dec. 24 amid signs of stabilizing in China and the U.S. economy. The measure traded at 11.03 times estimated earnings on Dec. 24, compared with 16.72 for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index yesterday. The H-share index climbed 22 percent from its June 25 low this year.
Futures on the S&P 500 dropped 0.1 percent today after the equity gauge climbed 0.5 percent yesterday to extend an all-time high. Jobless claims declined by 42,000 to 338,000 in the week ended Dec. 21, a Labor Department report showed yesterday. The median forecast of 42 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a drop to 345,000.
The H-share index is headed toward a monthly decline for the first time since June as funding costs soared in China. The gauge pared some losses on Dec. 24 after the People’s Bank of China conducted its first reverse-repurchase agreements in three weeks, helping ease the tightest financing conditions since a record cash crunch in June.
Visitor arrivals in Hong Kong last month climbed 8.6 percent from a year earlier, while those from mainland China rose 10 percent, the city’s Tourism Board said on its website on Dec. 24.
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