Hong Kong stocks approach six-week high on Alibaba tailwind while Chinese coal producers slump

  • Hang Seng Index approaches a six-week high on speculation tech crackdown is softening as Jack Ma makes first overseas trip since
  • Coal producers slump after an overnight plunge in futures contracts, as China considers intervening to stem runaway prices

Hong Kong stocks approached a six-week high, aided by a rally in Alibaba Group Holding amid speculation about its improving ties with Chinese regulatory authorities. Coal producers fell after an overnight plunge in the commodity.

The Hang Seng Index gained for a fourth day, adding 0.8 per cent to 25,996.97 as of 10.03am local time, the highest level since September 10. The tech benchmark surged 1.8 per cent as the three biggest constituents – advanced by at least 1.6 per cent.

Alibaba, the owner of this newspaper, appreciated 6.9 per cent to HK$176.20. Co-founder and former chairman Jack Ma is said to be in Europe for a study tour on agriculture, according to a person familiar with his itinerary, marking his first overseas trip in more than a year.

The travel, about a year after China halted Ant Group’s stock offering, fanned speculation China’s regulatory authorities are softening a crackdown on the broader technology industry. Tencent gained 1.6 per cent to HK$507 while Meituan added 1.8 per cent to HK$290.80 and JD.com rallied 2.1 per cent to HK$329.80.

In China, the Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.4 per cent. Major coal producers tumbled after domestic thermal coal prices plunged overnight. The government said late Tuesday that it was looking to intervene and stem surging prices following an energy supply crisis.

A gauge tracking coal producers by Wind Information slumped 8.8 per cent, with China Coal Energy and Shanxi Lanhua Sci-Tech Venture tumbling by the daily cap of 10 per cent.

Author: Iris Ouyang, SCMP

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