Hong Kong Stocks Decline Before China GDP, Factory Data
Hong Kong stocks fell, with the city’s benchmark index snapping three days of gains, before a report on China’s economic growth and industrial production.
The Hang Seng Index (HSI) slid 0.5 percent to 23,027.55 as of 9:31 a.m. in Hong Kong, after rising 1.3 percent last week. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index (HSCEI) of mainland companies listed in the city declined 1.1 percent to 10,056.83.
China, the world’s second-largest economy, probably grew 7.7 percent in 2013, unchanged from a year earlier, when expansion slowed to the least since 1999, a Bloomberg survey of economists showed. Industrial production is projected to have expanded at the same pace last year while growth in retail sales is likely to have accelerated.
“The Hong Kong market will continue its see-sawing pattern because investors are still looking for more clues to the market direction,” said Ben Kwong, Hong Kong-based chief operating officer at brokerage KGI Asia Ltd. “Investors worry whether the deceleration in the Chinese economy is faster than expected.”
Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slipped 0.2 percent today. The measure dropped 0.4 percent on Jan. 17 as earnings at companies from General Electric Co. to Intel Corp. disappointed investors. U.S. equity markets are closed for a holiday today.
The Hang Seng Index traded at 10.2 times estimated earnings on Jan. 17, compared with 15.6 for the S&P 500. The H-share index traded at 6.7 times estimated earnings, near levels reached during China’s cash crunch in June.
China Real Estate Information Corp. and Centaline Property Agency Ltd. both forecast that China’s new home-sale data to be released today will show 2013 sales exceeding $1 trillion for the first time, as prices in cities the government considers first tier surged in the absence of more nationwide property curbs. The value was 5.9 trillion yuan ($975 billion) in the first 11 months.
New-home prices in December climbed 20 percent in Guangzhou and Shenzhen from a year earlier, and jumped 18 percent in Shanghai and 16 percent in Beijing, the bureau of statistics said Jan. 18.
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