Hong Kong stocks fell for the first time in five days as oil and gold producers declined on lower commodity prices, while China Mobile Ltd. slid as Apple Inc. offered its newest iPhones through smaller competitors.
PetroChina Co., the nation’s No. 1 energy producer, fell 2.6 percent on easing concern that a Syrian conflict will disrupt Middle East crude exports. Gold producer Zijin Mining Group Co. dropped 2.6 percent. China Mobile lost 0.8 percent. China Resources Power Holdings Co. led the Hang Seng Index on higher power generation.
The Hang Seng Index dropped 0.2 percent to 22,937.14 at the close, after rising as much as 0.6 percent, with five shares declining for every four that gained. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of mainland shares traded in the city declined 0.6 percent to 10,636.71 after yesterday climbing 21 percent from this year’s low and entering a so-called bull market.
“It’s bound to have profit-taking pressure and limit further upside in the near term,” said Ben Kwong, chief operating officer at KGI Asia Ltd. “The market may take a breather after a strong rally recently. The major factor that’s boosting market sentiment is China, with various economic data pointing to positive development.”
Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dropped 0.1 percent today after Obama, in a live address from Washington, said he had called for a pause in a Senate vote authorizing a military strike against Syria to allow time for international talks on a Russian proposal for Syria to surrender its chemical weapons.
“We will work together in consultation with Russia and China at the UN Security Council” to get rid of Syrian chemical weapons and to “ultimately destroy them under international control,” Obama said.
China Mobile fell 0.8 percent to HK$87.15. Apple said its iPhones 5S and 5C are both being released in versions for the networks of China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd. and China Telecom Corp. starting this month. Apple is close to securing a deal with China Mobile and is preparing to ship iPhones to the carrier, a person with knowledge of the matter said last week.
China Mobile has “no news” on the status of Apple iPhone talks, Hong Kong-based spokeswoman Rainie Lei commented in an e-mailed response to questions from Bloomberg News today.
Oil companies dropped, with PetroChina Co. leading declines on the Hang Seng Index. West Texas Intermediate crude slid as much as 0.8 percent in New York, after dropping the most in three weeks yesterday. PetroChina dropped 2.6 percent to HK$8.60, while China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. slid 1 percent to HK$6.13.
Gold producers declined as the price of the metal swung between gains and losses, touching the lowest price in three weeks. Zijin Mining fell 2.6 percent to HK$1.88, while Zhaojin Mining Industry Co., the mainland’s No. 2 gold producer, retreated 2.9 percent to HK$6.96.
The Hang Seng Index rose 1.2 percent this year and traded at 11 times estimated earnings, compared with 15.3 for the S&P 500. Shares climbed as economic reports around the world boosted confidence in a global recovery.
Nomura Holdings Inc. and UBS AG revised their 2013 growth target for China to 7.6 percent from 7.5 percent, joining Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. in raising projections. Deutsche Bank AG boosted China’s third-quarter growth forecast to 7.9 percent from 7.7 percent. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said major economic indicators for August have shown trends that the economy is recovering, according to Xinhua News Agency.
China’s broadest measure of new credit almost doubled in August from the previous month. Aggregate financing was 1.57 trillion yuan ($257 billion), the People’s Bank of China said yesterday, topping the 950 billion yuan median estimate of 10 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News. New yuan loans from banks accounted for about 45 percent of the total, down from July’s 87 percent, as non-traditional credit played a bigger role.
Power producers climbed. Huaneng Power International Inc. gained 4.5 percent to HK$7.71, while China Resources Power rose 7.1 percent to HK$18.84 after its total power generation of units rose 35 percent in August.
BYD Co., the Chinese automaker partly owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., jumped 10 percent to HK$34.35 after Sina.com yesterday reported the company developed a new car in challenge to Tesla Motors Inc.
Esprit Holdings Ltd., an apparel retailer, rose 2.9 percent to HK$12 after yesterday plunging by the most since October on its first annual loss.
Futures on the Hong Kong gauge gained 0.1 percent to 22,969. The HSI Volatility Index climbed 1.1 percent to 16.99, indicating traders expect the benchmark equity index to swing 4.9 percent in the next 30 days.