Hong Kong stocks inch down on China growth worries

HONG KONG: The Hong Kong stock market fell for the third straight session on Friday and pared of some its weekly gains, as China reported lacklustre industrial production data. 

At the close of trade, the Hang Seng index was down 0.7% at 27,118.53, shedding its weekly gains to 0.6%. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index fell 0.7% on Friday, finishing the week up just 0.8%. The Chinese A-share market recorded gains of around 2% this week. 

The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares rose 0.2%, the IT sector lost 1.4%, the financial sector ended 0.8% lower and the property sector dipped 0.3%. 

China’s industrial output growth unexpectedly slowed to a more than 17-year low in May, official data showed after market hours on Friday, adding that the country’s investment also cooled, in the latest sign of weakening demand in the world’s second-largest economy as the United States ramps up trade pressure. 

U.S. President Donald Trump said this week he still plans to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping later this month, but declined to set a deadline for levying tariffs on another $325 billion of Chinese goods. 

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He on Thursday also signalled step up support for the economy. A state newspaper reported this week that China is expected to adjust money and credit supply in coming weeks. 

Police kept a close watch over central Hong Kong on Friday as the Asian financial hub returned to normalcy, with banks re-opening branches closed during violent protests against a proposed extradition bill with mainland China.

The top gainer on the Hang Seng was Sino Biopharmaceutical Ltd, which gained 1.3%, while the biggest loser was Hengan International Group Company Ltd, which fell 2.6%. 

The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were Huatai Securities Co Ltd, which was down 4.3%, Guangzhou Automobile Group Co Ltd, which fell 3.5% and GF Securities Co Ltd, down by 2.8%. 

At close, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 26.37% over Hong Kong-listed H-shares. - Reuters
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Hang Seng , China Enterprises index


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