Hong Kong Stocks Fall to One-Week Low; StanChart DeclinesKana Nishizawa
Hong Kong stocks fell, with the benchmark index closing at a one-week low, as shippers and airlines declined. Standard Chartered Plc plunged after saying profit at its consumer-banking unit will drop.
Standard Chartered, a U.K. lender that gets about 60 percent of its revenue in Asia, slumped 4.7 percent. China Shipping Development Co. slid 1.8 percent after yesterday rising to its highest since April 2012. China Eastern Airlines Corp. declined 1.6 percent amid rising fuel costs. SIM Technology Group Ltd., a handset maker, jumped 7.5 percent after China issued fourth-generation wireless licenses to the nation’s carriers.
The Hang Seng Index slid 0.1 percent to 23,712.57 at the close in Hong Kong, falling a third day after reaching its highest since April 2011. About three stocks slid for each that rose on the 50-member gauge on volume 25 percent lower than the 30-day average. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, also known as the H-share index, climbed 0.2 percent to 11,395.74.
“After the Hang Seng Index rose to more than a 2 1/2-year high, it triggered profit-taking,” said Sam Chi Yung, a strategist at Delta Asia Securities Ltd. in Hong Kong. “If there is news or special movement from individual stocks, that will attract investors.”
The Hang Seng Index climbed 20 percent from its June low on signs China’s economy is stabilizing. The measure traded at 11.31 times estimated earnings, compared with 16.2 for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index yesterday. The H-share index climbed 28 percent from this year’s low on June 25 after China unveiled sweeping reform plans.
Standard Chartered dropped 4.7 percent to HK$174.10 after saying full-year operating profit from consumer banking will decline at least 10 percent, hurt by its Korean business.
China Shipping Development dropped 1.8 percent to HK$5.36, while cargo line China Cosco Holdings Co. retreated 2.2 percent to HK$4.04. Shipping companies rose yesterday after the Shanghai branch of the People’s Bank of China said it aims to implement most of the goals set out for the city’s free-trade zone in three months.
China Eastern slid 1.6 percent to HK$3.08, while China Southern Airlines Co., the country’s biggest domestic carrier, retreated 1.5 percent to HK$3.39 amid concern higher fuel price will hurt their earnings.
Prada SpA declined 3.3 percent to HK$72.85. CIMB Securities HK Ltd. cut its rating to neutral from outperform on the Italian maker of luxury handbags .
Futures on the S&P 500 were little changed today. The gauge dropped 0.1 percent yesterday as investors weighed economic data for clues as to when the Federal Reserve will cut stimulus and amid optimism over a budget deal. A report showed payrolls rose in November by the most in a year. A separate report showed U.S. services industries rose less than expected.
Central bank policy makers, who next meet on Dec. 17-18, will probably wait until March before reducing monthly bond purchases to $70 billion from $85 billion, according to a Bloomberg survey on Nov. 8.
SIM gained 7.5 percent to 36 Hong Kong cents, while FIH Mobile Ltd. rose 7.8 percent to HK$4.01. Mobile-equipment manufacturers will be major beneficiaries of China’s issuance of 4G licenses in the early investment stage, Guotai Junan International Holdings Ltd. said.
China Mobile Ltd., the world’s largest phone company, gained 0.5 percent to HK$84.65 after winning approval to offer 4G wireless services, clearing a hurdle to offering Apple Inc.’s iPhone 5. China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd. and China Telecom Corp., which both offer the new Apple smartphone, also received 4G licenses, China’s government said yesterday.
Parkson Retail Group Ltd. jumped 22 percent to HK$2.85 after Roger Wang bought 4 million shares at an average price of HK$2.41 on Nov. 29, raising his stake in the company to 5.01 percent from 4.87 percent.
Futures on the Hang Seng Index slid 0.1 percent to 23,698. The Hang Seng Volatility Index rose 0.9 percent to 16.13, indicating traders expect the benchmark equity index to swing 4.6 percent in the next 30 days.