Hong Kong stocks rose, with the benchmark index headed for its longest winning streak in almost six weeks, as property companies led gains.
The Hang Seng Index (HSI) added 0.3 percent to 22,417.32 as of 9:32 a.m. in Hong Kong, climbing for a fifth day. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index (HSCEI) of mainland companies traded in the city, also known as the H-share index, rose 0.4 percent to 9,893.49.
The People’s Bank of China yesterday told the nation’s 15 biggest lenders to accelerate the granting of mortgages, prioritizing first-time buyers while monitoring credit risks. With developers holding off on new construction, Premier Li Keqiang is seeking to put a floor under the economic slowdown. Home sales fell 18 percent in April from the previous month, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics.
After soaring the most in two years on Nov. 18 as China unveiled its biggest policy changes since the 1990s, the H-share index has since dropped 13 percent through yesterday amid signs the mainland’s economic momentum is ebbing. The gauge traded at 6.8 times estimated earnings yesterday, compared with 10.4 for the Hang Seng Index and 16.1 for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.
Futures on the S&P 500 were little changed today after the underlying index extended its record high yesterday as data showed retail sales in March were higher than initially reported.
Bank of China Ltd., the nation’s fourth-biggest lender by market value, rose 0.6 percent to HK$3.45. The bank said it’s seeking to raise as much as 100 billion yuan ($16 billion) selling preferred stock in China and offshore, becoming the latest Chinese company to issue the securities domestically since the government began allowing them to two months ago.
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