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Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index Drops; PICC Rises in Debut

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell as utilities declined. Most shares gained in the broader measure before the release of Chinese economic data this weekend, and as People’s Insurance Company (Group) of China Ltd. surged on its trading debut.

China Resources Power Holdings Co., an electricity utility, slid 4 percent, extending a decline begun yesterday after the stock reached a three-year high two days ago. PICC Group jumped 6.9 percent after raising $3.1 billion in the city’s biggest initial public offering in two years. Anhui Conch Cement Co. and developer China Overseas Land & Investment Ltd. climbed after state media reported new leader Xi Jinping reiterated that China will promote urban development.

About seven stocks climbed for every four that dropped in the Hang Seng Composite Index. The Hang Seng Index slid 0.3 percent to 22,191.17 at the close, reversing earlier gains in late trading. The gauge rose 0.7 percent for the week, its 11th weekly gain in 14 weeks. Trading volume swelled to about 30 percent above the 30-day average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of mainland companies climbed 0.5 percent to 10,919.24.

“We could see a short-term rally, driven by exporters amid signs of improving U.S. economy,” said Masahiko Ejiri, a Tokyo-based fund manager for Mizuho Asset Management Co., which oversees about $45 billion. “This rally may not be sustained. Europe’s problems are likely to persist.”

Stimulus Surge

Hong Kong’s benchmark index surged 22 percent through yesterday from this year’s low on June 4 amid signs the world’s two largest economies are recovering after central banks in China, the U.S., Europe and Japan added to stimulus measures. The gauge traded at 11.6 times average estimated earnings yesterday, compared with 13.6 for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and 12.6 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 0.1 percent today. The gauge gained 0.3 percent yesterday as Apple Inc. rebounded from its biggest drop in four years and investors weighed prospects for a budget deal in Washington.

Jobless claims decreased by 25,000 to 370,000 in the week ended Dec. 1, Labor Department figures showed. The median forecast of 52 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a drop to 380,000.

PICC Group surged 6.9 percent to HK$3.72 from its offering price of HK$3.48. The Beijing-based company raised HK$24 billion ($3.1 billion) last week.

Growth Stabilizing

November economic data may show China’s growth is stabilizing. Industrial production probably accelerated for a third month to 9.8 percent more than a year earlier, while retail sales probably rose 14.6 percent, the most since March, according to median estimates in Bloomberg News surveys. The figures are due Dec. 9.

A measure of industry goods had the No. 1 advance in the Hang Seng Composite Index. Anhui Conch gained 2.7 percent to HK$28.15, while China National Building Material Co., a cement maker, jumped 4.4 percent to HK$11.04. China Overseas Land advanced 2.4 percent to HK$23.65.

China will continue its proactive fiscal policy, promote economic restructuring and urbanization, Chinese Communist Party Secretary Xi Jinping was cited as saying by the official China Central Television yesterday.

Prada SpA, the Italian maker of luxury handbags, surged 10 percent to HK$71, its highest close since its June 2011 initial public offering, after third-quarter earnings beat estimates.

Among stocks that fell, China Power declined 4 percent to HK$17.50, and Hong Kong and China Gas Co. slid 1.6 percent to HK$21.05.

Sands China slid 1.4 percent to HK$31.95. The casino operator may raise HK$10 billion in a share placement, Hong Kong Economic Journal reported today, citing unidentified people. Shares pared declines after the company denied the report.

Futures on the Hang Seng Index advanced 0.1 percent to 22,272. The HSI Volatility Index rose 1.5 percent to 15.85, indicating traders expect a swing of 4.5 percent for the equity benchmark in the next 30 days.

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