Hong Kong Stocks Decline on U.S. Data; AgriBank Gains on Debut

July 16 (Bloomberg) -- Hong Kong stocks dipped after the U.S. reported manufacturing declined, heightening concern an economic recovery may falter. Agricultural Bank of China Ltd. advanced on its debut.

Li & Fung Ltd., the biggest supplier to retailers including Wal-Mart Stores Inc., slid 1.5 percent. Cosco Pacific Ltd., Asia’s third-biggest container-terminal operator, declined 1.6 percent. Agricultural Bank, China’s largest by customers, gained 2.2 percent on its first day of trading in Hong Kong.

The Hang Seng Index slid 5.46 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to close at 20,250.16, extending its decline this week to 0.6 percent. The benchmark rose as much as 0.3 percent and dropped as much as 0.4 percent today. Twenty-one stocks fell while 19 climbed among the measure’s 43 constituents.

“This volatility will continue,” Geoff Lewis, head of investment services at JPMorgan Asset Management, said in a Bloomberg Television interview. “But it’s not a double-dip recession. Those fears are exaggerated.”

The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of so-called H shares of Chinese companies declined 0.1 percent to 11,419.62.

The Hang Seng Index has slid 7.4 percent this year as China’s efforts to cool its property market and Europe’s debt crises dented confidence in a global economic recovery. Stocks on the gauge trade at 13.4 times estimated earnings, Bloomberg data show.

Futures on the index were little changed at 20,185.

Li & Fung

Li & Fung slid 1.5 percent to HK$36.50. Cosco Pacific declined 1.6 percent to HK$9.60. Esprit Holdings Ltd., a global fashion retailer, fell 1.3 percent to HK$43.45.

U.S. factory output fell 0.4 percent in June, a Federal Reserve report showed yesterday. That’s the biggest contraction in a year. Producer prices slid 0.5 percent after falling 0.3 percent in May, the Labor Department said.

Agricultural Bank gained 2.2 percent to HK$3.27 on its Hong Kong debut, a day after its stock started trading in Shanghai, where it recorded the smallest first-day gain among the nine lenders that have sold shares in the city in the past four years.

The stock, which closed 0.8 percent higher than its initial public offering price in Shanghai yesterday, slid 0.4 percent today.

Zijin Mining

HSBC advanced 1 percent to HK$75.65. Goldman Sachs agreed to pay $550 million and change its business practices to settle U.S. regulatory claims it misled investors in collateralized debt obligations linked to subprime mortgages. The penalty is the largest ever levied by the Securities and Exchange Commission against a Wall Street firm, it said yesterday.

Goldman Sachs was also sued by Cambridge Place Investment Management Inc., a Boston area-based fund, seeking reimbursement for losses related to subprime loans. The suit also names HSBC, among dozens more banks and brokerages.

Bank of Communications Co. slid 2.2 percent to HK$8.31. The bank, part-owned by HSBC, said it raised HK$17.8 billion in an H-share rights issue.

Zijin Mining Group Co. retreated 3.7 percent to HK$4.64 after China’s No. 1 gold producer said three managers were detained for a police investigation into an acid spill.

To contact the reporter on this story: Hanny Wan in Hong Kong at hwan3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Gentle at ngentle2@bloomberg.net.