Most Hong Kong stocks gain before fresh reports signalling improving China economic health

  • Today’s advance adds Thursday’s 2.4 per cent rally before reports next week signalling better economic health in China
  • CNOOC, Sinopec and PetroChina all rise as oil prices head for a weekly gain amid easing recession fears

Most Hong Kong stocks advanced, adding to Thursday’s hefty jump from before reports next week signalling better growth momentum in China‘s economy. Oil producers climbed as crude prices strengthened.

The Hang Seng Index added 0.3 per cent to 20,146.93 at local noon trading break, reversing an earlier loss. The benchmark rose 2.4 per cent a day earlier, the most in three weeks. The Hang Seng Tech Index gained 0.5 per cent, while the Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.2 per cent.

Li Ning rallied 5.8 per cent to HK$70.80 and Alibaba Group Holding advanced 1 per cent to HK$92.70. China’s top oil explorer CNOOC rose 2.7 per cent to HK$10.02 and Sinopec gained 1.6 per cent to HK$3.72. PetroChina added 1.2 per cent to HK$3.52. Oil prices were set for a weekly gain with recession fears easing.

“Daily market turnover remained low in the recent trading days” showing investors prefer to stay on the sideline, said KGI Securities in a Friday note. The stock market is likely to range-trade at current levels today, it added.

The Hang Seng Index has struggled for traction this month, after sliding 7.8 per cent in July. The escalation of US-China tensions has added to other risks in the market, including sporadic Covid-19 lockdowns and a property market crisis in mainland China.

Government reports next week may show industrial production growing 4.4 per cent in July versus a 3.9 per cent in June, according to economists tracked by Bloomberg. Growth in retail sales probably quickened to 5 per cent from 3.1 per cent, according to market consensus.

Elsewhere, HSBC retreated 0.6 per cent to HK$52.20. The lender faces renewed criticism from its biggest shareholder Ping An Insurance even as the lender fought off pressure to spin off its Asian operations.

Tianqi Lithium fell 1.5 per cent while China Merchants Energy Shipping jumped 5.6 per cent in Shanghai. Global index compiler MSCI added the companies and five other yuan-denominated stocks to its MSCI China Index, and removed Hong Kong-listed CIFI Ever Sunshine Services and Logan Group. The changes will be effective after the market closes on August 31.

Hygon Information jumped 76 per cent to 63.25 yuan in Shanghai on its first day of trading, while Chengdu Qushui Science surged 188 per cent to 108.10 yuan in Shenzhen.

Asian markets were mixed on Friday. Japanese shares added 2.5 and South Korean equities rose 0.82 per cent, while Australian stocks dropped 0.8 per cent.

Author: Zhang Shidong, SCMP

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