Hong Kong Stocks Cap Biggest Two-Day Drop in MonthAnna Kitanaka
Hong Kong stocks retreated, with the Hang Seng Index capping its biggest two-day drop in a month, as Chinese shares slid on concern about economic growth in Asia’s largest economy.
Weichai Power Co., a Chinese maker of diesel engines, lost 4 percent. Hengan International Group Co., a maker of snacks and hygiene products, dropped 3 percent, retreating from a record high yesterday. Golden Eagle Retail Group Ltd. dropped 2.6 percent, leading declines by mainland department stores. Jiangxi Copper Co., the country’s biggest producer of the metal, dropped 2.1 percent after its rating was cut to neutral from outperform at Macquarie Group Ltd., and as metal prices sank today.
The Hang Seng Index lost 0.3 percent to 22,930.28 at the close, capping a two-day decline of 1.7 percent. Volume was about 12 percent below the 30-day average. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of mainland companies lost 0.7 percent to 11,032.79. China’s Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.1 percent.
“China continues to trend lower, adding headwinds to Hong Kong,” said Christian Kielland, managing director of brokerage BTIG Hong Kong Ltd. “China has become the hardest place to get excited about in Asia.”
Shares in Hong Kong fell yesterday after China’s industrial production missed estimates, raising concerns about the strength of the world’s second-biggest economy. The central bank said last week the “foundation for stable economic expansion isn’t yet solid,” while also warning further stimulus to boost growth could trigger inflation.
“Investors are still very cautious and aware that macro events have a big impact,” said Andrew Sullivan, director of sales trading at Kim Eng Securities Hong Kong Ltd., a unit of Malayan Banking Bhd. “A lot of investors want to be involved at value levels, but don’t want to own at any price. Any whiff of bad news and stocks are being dumped.”
Hengan International slid 3 percent to HK$85.20, the biggest decline on the Hang Seng Index. The stock yesterday closed at its highest since at least December 1998 after its rating was raised at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Weichai Power, which gets most of its revenue from China, fell 4 percent to HK$28.95, the steepest drop on the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index. Golden Eagle Retail dropped 2.6 percent to HK$12.20.
Cheung Kong Holdings Ltd., controlled by billionaire Li Ka-Shing, slid 0.7 percent to HK$115.60. The developer said it will cancel a HK$1.4 billion ($180 million) sale of hotel rooms after a Hong Kong regulator opened a probe of the transactions.
Chinese lenders and property developers declined. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., the nation’s biggest lender, slipped 1.3 percent to HK$5.49 after JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut its growth outlook for the world’s biggest economy and as concern grew the government will introduce more property curbs.
Agricultural Bank of China Ltd. slid 1.1 percent to HK$3.76. China Overseas Land & Investment Ltd., the biggest mainland real-estate company traded in Hong Kong, fell 1.5 percent to HK$23.25. China Resources Land Ltd. dropped 3 percent to HK$22.60.
Beijing home pre-sales will need approval from the mayor’s office and the housing bureau, according to 21st Century Business Herald. Pre-sale prices won’t be allowed to be higher than current housing prices in the same area, the report said.
Jiangxi Copper fell 2.1 percent to HK$15.68, and Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd., the nation’s No. 1 supplier of the light metal by market value, sank 1.6 percent to HK$3.11. Copper for three-month delivery dropped in London today, while aluminum retreated.
Futures on the Hang Seng Index fell 0.1 percent to 22,855 today. The HSI Volatility Index fell 1.3 percent to 15.38, indicating traders expect a swing of 4.4 percent for the equity benchmark in the next 30 days.