Hong Kong stocks advance as tech rebounds from record-low while SenseTime’s debut surpasses expectations

  • Tech benchmark recovers from an all-time low as NetEase, JD.com and Tencent advance
  • SenseTime beats market expectations as the Chinese AI champion rallies on its trading debut after a sanctions-marred IPO in Hong Kong

Hong Kong stocks advanced as tech stocks rebounded from an all-time low. SenseTime Group delivered a surprise as it surpassed market expectations when its stock rallied on its trading debut.

The Hang Seng Index gained 0.2 per cent to 23,134.88 at noon trading break. The Tech Index rose 0.2 per cent, ending a four-day losing streak. China’s Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.8 per cent.

JD.com appreciated 2.4 per cent, among the market’s leading winners. NetEase jumped 1.3 per cent, Meituan gained 0.9 per cent while Tencent Holdings climbed 0.6 per cent. The city’s tech benchmark has lost 9.5 per cent in December and 35 per cent for the year, pushing valuations to multi-year low.

SenseTime, China’s biggest artificial intelligence group, surged as much as 23 per cent following its US$851 million stock offering in Hong Kong. The stock jumped as high as HK$4.74 before trading at HK4.29 at noon local time.

“Market sentiment is stabilising,” said Stanley Chan, research director at Emperor Capital. “SenseTime’s first day of trading is performing well, a boost to the market.”

The Hang Seng Index remains 2 per cent weaker this month, after losing 7.5 per in November. Its 15 per cent setback this year ranks as the worst among major global stock indexes, according to Bloomberg data.

Still, Chinese stocks remained attractive to global funds, which have ploughed a record US$65.5 billion into equities listed in Shanghai and Shenzhen this year, according to a China International Capital Corporation (CICC) report on Wednesday.

Elsewhere, Chinese property developers remained in focus. China Evergrande has kept investors in the dark on coupon for a dollar bond due on Tuesday. Its stock sank 8.5 per cent, bringing the year’s loss to 90 per cent. Country Garden declined 1.2 per cent, while China Resources Land fell 0.6 per cent.

There were also five other market debutants, including two in Hong Kong. Chervon Holdings jumped 26 per cent above its IPO price to HK$55.05, while Sirnaomics climbed 20 per cent to HK$79.20.

Beijing Chunlizhengda Medical Instruments Company retreated 1 per cent and Bingo Software Company, an information technology services provider, declined 12 per cent. Wuhan Tianyuan Environmental Protection Company soared 77 per cent.

Major markets in Asia-Pacific retreated. The South Korean and Japanese benchmark lost at least 0.3 per cent, while Australian stocks remain unchanged.

Author: Cheryl Heng, SCMP

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