Hang Seng retains upside momentum as PetroChina, CNOOC lead rotation while Alibaba, tech stocks pare gains

  • PetroChina, CNOOC advance as oil producers lead new rotation from sliding tech stocks
  • Alibaba and other Big Tech stocks wobble in early trading after a 5 per cent surge on Wednesday

Hong Kong stocks were mixed in early trading as PetroChina and other oil producers advanced with crude hitting a two-month high, while Chinese tech companies surrendered some of their massive gains this week.

The Hang Seng Index was little changed at 24,421.83 at noon trading break. The Tech Index tumbled 1.5 per cent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.3 per cent.

PetroChina and CNOOC rose at least 1.4 per cent, while Sinopec gained 2.8 per cent. Natural gas distributor ENN Energy climbed 3.6 per cent. Oil traded near US$82.64 a barrel, the highest level since November 9, according to Bloomberg data.

PetroChina’s gain was aided by a report it made an almost five-fold increase in earnings last year, according to an advance estimate in a stock exchange filing. CNOOC extended a surge after unveiling a surprise dividend plan under its 2022-2024 business strategy.

Tech stocks pulled back after a 5 per cent rally on Wednesday, as JD.com and Meituan fell 0.5 per cent and 3.9 per cent, respectively. Alibaba declined 0.3 per cent, while Tencent lost 1.4 per cent. The 30-member Tech Index has gained US$239 billion in market value in the current upturn.

“Reporting season is coming, so some traders that have made short-term gains from the rebound in tech giants are now selling the stocks to see how earnings results will be,” said Louis Tse Ming-kwong, managing director of Wealthy Securities.

Separately, Genting Hong Kong plunged by a record 50 per cent after resuming trading on Thursday. The cruise operator faces debt payment of US$2.78 billion after a unit filed for bankruptcy this week.

On the mainland, Rastar Environmental Protection Materials slumped 9.5 per cent on its trading debut on Thursday.

Major Asian markets were mixed. Australian equities rose 0.3 per cent, while Japanese and South Korean shares fell 0.9 per cent and 0.2 per cent, respectively.

Author: Cheryl Heng, SCMP

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