Most Hong Kong stocks rose as developers climbed and exporters got a boost from U.S. jobs data. Gains were limited as the benchmark index traded near a 19-month high, fueling speculation shares were overbought.
China Overseas Land & Investment Ltd. gained 2.4 percent after Deutsche Bank AG added the developer to a buy list. Li & Fung Ltd., a Wal-Mart Stores Inc. supplier, increased 1.4 percent after U.S. employers added workers in December. Belle International Holdings Ltd. declined 2.6 percent after the shoemaker’s shares rose to a record last week.
About three stocks rose for each that fell on the Hang Seng Composite Index, which gained 0.4 percent at the close. The benchmark Hang Seng Index was little changed at 23,329.75, trading about 0.3 percent below its highest since June 2011. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of mainland companies climbed 0.3 percent to 11,973.07.
“People may be worried about overheating in the short term, but for now there is belief that this will be a good year for equities,” said Christian Kielland, managing director of brokerage BTIG Hong Kong Ltd. “Everyone is excited about the increasingly stronger U.S. data.”
The Hang Seng Index advanced 12 percent from the end of September through Jan. 4 as signs of accelerating growth in China lured money made available by global central-bank easing. The gauge traded at 11.3 times estimated earnings on average, compared with 13.1 for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and 11.9 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Futures on the S&P 500 slid less than 0.1 percent today. The measure gained 0.5 percent on Jan. 4 after nonfarm U.S. payrolls rose by 155,000 workers last month following a 161,000 advance in November. The unemployment rate held at 7.8 percent.
Li & Fung, which counts the U.S. as its biggest market, gained 1.4 percent to HK$14.70. Yue Yuen Industrial (Holdings) Ltd., a supplier to Nike Inc., advanced 0.4 percent to HK$25.75. Techtronic Industries Co., a maker of power tools that gets most of its sales in North America, rose 2.3 percent to HK$15.06.
Chinese developers gained, with the property index climbing the most among the Hang Seng Index’s four industry groups, after a report Beijing home sales jumped in the first days of the year.
China Overseas Land gained 2.4 percent to HK$25.30 after Deutsche Bank added the company to its buy list. Shimao Property Holdings Ltd. jumped 3.3 percent to HK$17.12, while China Resources Land Ltd. increased 0.9 percent to HK$23.70.
Beijing home sales rose 116 percent in the first two days of 2013 to 723 units compared with a year earlier, the China Business News reported, citing data from the Beijing Municipal Commission of Housing and Urban-Rural Development.
Shares also climbed after China’s Ministry of Finance said on Jan. 5 it will subsidize investments and financing for companies that build and operate public rental housing.
Hong Kong’s developers advanced after Radio Television Hong Kong reported that Henderson Land Development Co.’s chairman Lee Shau-Kee expects a 5 percent to 10 percent rise in the city’s property prices. Henderson Land gained 2.8 percent to HK$57.30. Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd. rose 2.1 percent to HK$121.30.
Among shares that dropped, Belle International fell 2.6 percent to HK$17.02, declining for a second day after hitting a record on Jan. 3. China Resources Power Holdings Co. lost 3.5 percent to HK$19.34. Shares have see-sawed since Jan. 2, when the utility rose to its highest level since June 2008.
China Merchants Holdings International Co. sank 1.7 percent to HK$25.50 after a measure of trading momentum signaled the shipping company may have been overbought. The 14-day Relative Strength Index for the shares hit 71.8 on Jan. 4, above the 70-level that some investors view as an indicator an asset’s price is poised to fall.
The Hang Seng Index’s 14-day RSI rose to 74.5 today. The HSI Volatility Index rose 0.1 percent to 14.89, indicating traders expect a swing of 4.2 percent for the equity benchmark in the next 30 days. Futures on the Hang Seng Index gained 0.1 percent to 23,329.