Hong Kong stocks eked out a small gain late in the day on Thursday, led by a rebound in recently battered shares, as investors assessed the impact of heightened Sino-U.S. tensions.
The benchmark Hang Seng Index closed 0.2% higher, erasing a loss of as much as 1.1% earlier in the day, led by Wuxi Biologics Cayman Inc. The biotech firm rallied 11%, retracing some of its record drop on Wednesday, after it announced plans to buy back as much as $500 million worth of its shares.
Meanwhile, the Hang Seng Tech Index gained 0.5%, recovering from earlier losses of as much as 2%. Still, the measure is trading near the lowest close since its launch in July last year amid renewed concern that Washington may impose tougher sanctions on Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp., China’s largest chipmaker.
A Bloomberg gauge of China real estate firms advanced for the first time in five days, with Shimao Group Holdings Ltd. and Shimao Services Holdings Ltd. each advancing at least 4%. Shares of Shimao Group had fallen 35% since Friday.
Still, investors remain cautious about the outlook for Chinese shares, with the recent heightening of U.S.-China tensions cited as adding to regulatory uncertainty that’s positioned the HSI and the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index as the worst performing major stock gauges globally this year.
“In general, capital continues to flow out of this sector,” said Steven Leung, executive director at UOB Kay Hian (Hong Kong) Ltd.
Author: Jeanny Yu, Bloomberg