Hong Kong Stocks Rise on Casino Operators, Gold Producers

Hong Kong stocks rose, with the city’s benchmark index posting its first advance of the week, as casino shares led gains and gold producers climbed.

Macau gaming companies Sands China Ltd. and Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd. each added at least 1.8 percent, providing the biggest boost to the Hang Seng Index. Zijin Mining Group Co., China’s biggest gold producer, added 2.9 percent as bullion headed for its longest run of weekly advances since March. China Machinery Engineering Corp. sank 7.5 percent after starting to withdraw staff from a power plant it’s building in Iraq amid escalating sectarian violence.

The Hang Seng Index added 0.1 percent to 23,194.06 at the close in Hong Kong, paring its decline this week to 0.5 percent. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, also known as the H-share index, today added 0.4 percent to 10,395.45.

“Valuations look cheap in Hong Kong and China,” Desmond Chua, a strategist for CMC Markets in Singapore, said by phone. “There might be further room for the market to go up should China’s economy continue to stabilize.”

Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng rebounded 9.5 percent since falling to an eight-month low in March, as manufacturing showed signs of recovery and China introduced stimulus to counter an economic slowdown. The gauge traded at 10.7 times estimated earnings at the close, compared with 16.6 for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index yesterday.

Growth Floor

Premier Li Keqiang yesterday in London reaffirmed China will maintain a minimum growth rate of 7.5 percent, adding to speculation “minor stimulus measures” may be announced, according to a China Securities Journal commentary.

China will run a campaign from July to November to crack down on trademark infringements and sales of fake goods on the Internet, according to the State Administration for Industry and Commerce’s website yesterday. The actions will target online transaction platforms and group-buy websites, the agency said. Vipshop Holdings Ltd., a Guangzhou-based online fashion goods seller, retreated after posting a 126 percent surge in the year to June 18.

Futures on the S&P 500 were little changed today. The underlying gauge rose 0.1 percent yesterday in New York to extend a record amid optimism the recovery will accelerate. U.S. leading indicators climbed in May for a fourth straight month following the slowdown at the start of 2014. Fewer unemployment benefit applications were filed last week, a sign of steady progress in the labor market.

Casino stocks rebounded today after slumping this week on news Macau shortened the transit-stay limit for Chinese travelers. Sands China climbed 2.3 percent to HK$54.60. Galaxy rose 1.8 percent to HK$57.60.

Gold Haven

Gold producers climbed as bullion headed for a 2.4 percent weekly gain, extending its rally for a third week, as expectations that borrowing costs in the U.S. will remain low fueled demand for the metal as an alternative investment. Zijin Mining added 2.9 percent to HK$1.75. Zhaojin Mining Industry Co. jumped 6.8 percent to HK$4.53.

China Modern Dairy Holdings Ltd., the nation’s largest raw-milk producer, added 3.6 percent to HK$3.20 after being raised to buy from hold at Jefferies Group LLC.

Chinese property developers fell after Centaline Group reported today that prices of existing homes in the nation’s biggest cities declined last week. Prices fell in 35 of the 70 cities tracked by the government last month from April, according to a statement by the National Bureau of Statistics on June 18, the most since May 2012. China Resources Land Ltd. dropped 1.1 percent to HK$14.08. Shimao Property Holdings Ltd. slipped 2.3 percent to HK$13.82.

Tianhe Chemicals Group Ltd., a supplier of lubricant additives, fell 0.6 percent below its initial public offering price after rising as much as 5 percent earlier on its debut. The company sold 2.82 billion shares at HK$1.80 each in its IPO.

Iraq Crisis

Prada SpA slipped 1.2 percent to HK$56.15. Morgan Stanley cut its rating on the shares of the Italian luxury goods maker to equal-weight from overweight.

U.S. stocks briefly extended losses yesterday after President Barack Obama said he’s sending as many as 300 military advisers to assist the Iraqi army battle an insurgency. The S&P 500 dropped 0.7 percent last week as violence in Iraq sent the price of Brent crude to the highest level in 11 months.

China Machinery tumbled 7.5 percent to HK$4.55, its lowest since Sept. 9. The company yesterday said it sent an executive to lead emergency team and draw up a withdrawal plan for staff building the Salah Al-Din power plant in Iraq. Work on the $1.19 billion project started in August 2012.

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