Hong Kong Stocks Drop Most in Week as China Data Miss Estimates

Hong Kong stocks fell the most in more than a week as reports showed Chinese economic growth and industrial production expanded less than economists estimated.

Cnooc Ltd., a state-owned Chinese offshore energy explorer, fell 3.1 percent, exerting the second-biggest drag on the Hang Seng Index as oil dropped after gross domestic product growth unexpectedly slowed. CSR Corp., the country’s biggest trainmaker, retreated 2.3 percent as fixed-asset investment also missed estimates. Wharf Holdings Ltd., the third-largest developer in Hong Kong, fell 1.8 percent after existing home prices in the city recorded the worst week-on-week decline in 19 weeks, according to Centaline.

“Economic growth in mainland China is not as good as the market expected,” said Linus Yip, chief strategist at First Shanghai Securities in Hong Kong. “The market still has to go lower, especially this week; we expect the market is going to see a short-term bottom.”

The Hang Seng Index dropped 1.4 percent to close at 21,772.67 in Hong Kong. China’s GDP expanded 7.7 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said in Beijing today. That compares with a median estimate of 8 percent in a Bloomberg News survey of 41 economists.

All but three stocks slid on the city’s benchmark gauge, which dropped the most since April 5 and became the developed world’s worst-performing benchmark gauge this year. Trading volume was about 13 percent below the 30-day intraday average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of mainland shares dropped 2 percent to 10,440.76.

Bird Flu

The Hang Seng Index lost 7.3 percent from a Jan. 30 high through April 12 as China takes steps to curb property prices and amid concern an outbreak of a new bird-flu virus will become an epidemic.

Hong Kong’s benchmark index traded at 10.5 times estimated earnings, compared with its five-year average of 12.6 and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index’s multiple of 14.4, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Every industry group on the Hang Seng Composite Index, the city’s broadest equity measure, retreated today.

Hang Seng Index futures declined 1.6 percent to 21,770. The HSI Volatility Index increased 7.7 percent to 17.83, its highest level since March 18, indicating traders expect a swing of 5.1 percent for the equity benchmark in the next 30 days.

China’s mainland fixed-asset investment excluding rural households grew 20.9 percent in the January-to-March period from a year earlier, the statistics bureau reported. That compared with the 21.3 percent median estimate in a Bloomberg survey and a 21.2 percent gain in the first two months of 2013. Retail sales in March rose 12.6 percent from a year earlier, meeting estimates.

Oil, Gold

Cnooc fell 3.1 percent to HK$13.74. CSR retreated 2.3 percent to HK$5.13. China Construction Bank Corp., the No. 2 lender on the mainland, dropped 1.5 percent to HK$6.11.

Miners slid the most on the Hang Seng Composite Index after gold, which plunged into a bear market last week, extended declines to the lowest level since April 2011. Prices tumbled 5 percent on April 12, taking losses to more than 20 percent since a record close in September 2011, and meeting the common definition of a bear market.

Gold producer Zhaojin Mining Industry Co. dropped 10 percent to HK$8.60. Zijin Mining Group Co., the biggest mining company in China, fell 7.2 percent to HK$2.33.

Developers retreated on Centaline’s Hong Kong home-price data. Wharf fell 1.8 percent to HK$67.05. New World Development Co., the Hong Kong builder controlled by billionaire Cheng Yu-tung, slid 1.4 percent to HK$12.70. Sino Land Co., a Hong Kong builder controlled by billionaire Robert Ng, retreated 2.4 percent to HK$12.42.

China’s Power Output

China Resources Power Holdings Co., a Hong Kong-listed electricity producer, sank 6 percent to HK$22.75, the biggest drop in the Hang Seng Index, after China’s power output grew in March at the second-slowest rate in six months.

Zoomlion Heavy Industry Science & Technology Co., China’s second-biggest construction equipment maker, tumbled 8.3 percent to HK$7.61 after forecasting first-quarter profit may slump as much as 80 percent.

Futures on the S&P 500 dropped 0.5 percent today. The gauge lost 0.3 percent on April 12 after the U.S. retail sales report and as commodities plunged and a gauge of consumer sentiment slipped.

Techtronic Industries Co., a power-tool maker that counts North America as its biggest market, declined 3.3 percent to HK$18.10. Li & Fung Ltd., a supplier to Wal-Mart Stores Inc., fell 2.3 percent to HK$10.28. Yue Yuen Industrial Holdings Ltd., which makes shoes for companies including Nike Inc., slid 1 percent to HK$25.95.