Hong Kong Stocks Heading for Five-Day Drop on Fed Concern
Hong Kong stocks slid, with the benchmark index headed for its longest losing streak in 11 weeks, after stronger U.S. economic growth fueled concern the Federal Reserve may cut stimulus sooner than expected.
The Hang Seng Index (HSI) fell 0.7 percent to 22,730.29 as of 9:34 a.m. in Hong Kong, its fifth day of declines as it heads for a 2.2 percent weekly drop. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index lost 0.7 percent to 10,398.47. China’s top party officials gather in Beijing for a plenum to map out reforms starting tomorrow.
Futures on the S&P 500 gained 0.2 percent today. The equity gauge sank 1.3 percent yesterday on speculation the Fed will pare stimulus after U.S. gross domestic product rose 2.8 percent in the third quarter, beating estimates for a 2 percent advance. Tapering was expected to begin in March, based on the median estimate from analysts surveyed by Bloomberg last month. Jobless claims decreased by 9,000 to 336,000 in the week ended Nov. 2 from 345,000 the prior period, the Labor Department reported. Today’s monthly employment report may show payrolls rose by 120,000 in October after a 148,000 gain in September, while the jobless rate climbed to 7.3 percent.
The Hang Seng Index advanced 15 percent from this year’s low on June 24 through yesterday amid signs China’s economy is stabilizing. A non-manufacturing gauge this week jumped to the highest this year after two measures of factory activity climbed. Hong Kong’s benchmark index traded at 10.94 times estimated earnings yesterday, compared with 15.78 for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.
President Xi Jinping said a blueprint for “comprehensive reform” will be put forward to the third plenary session of the Communist Party Central Committee, according to a report from the Xinhua News Agency. The focus will shift to more sustainable growth that will reduce inequality and won’t damage the environment, the report said.
Signs of strength in China’s economy may give the nation’s leadership more confidence in tackling reforms. At the same time, excessive credit growth, rising local-government debt and weaker export momentum may sap recovery from a two-quarter slowdown.
China’s exports rose 1.7 percent in October from a year earlier, while imports climbed 7.4 percent, data today are expected to show according to a Bloomberg survey. Reports on consumer prices, industrial production and retail sales are due this weekend.
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