HK stocks close down on tightening concerns, led by developers, PetroChina

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Xinhua News Agency, April 28, 2011
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Hong Kong shares ended 0.37 percent lower on Thursday, reversing earlier gains, as some investors retreated to the sidelines late in the session on renewed concerns about further monetary tightening policy from Beijing, with producer PetroChina leading the decline because of below-view first-quarter earnings.

Hong Kong stocks lost 87.21 points, or 0.37 percent, to close at 23,805.63 on Thursday. The benchmark Hang Seng Index traded between 23,761.13 and 24,132.05. Turnover totaled 77.65 billion HK dollars (about 9.99 billion U.S. dollars).

The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index went down 132.48 points, or 0.98 percent, to close at 13,319.96.

Three sub-indices lost ground, with the Properties sub-index falling the most by 0.69 percent, followed by the Commerce and Industry 0.44 percent, the Finance 0.29 percent. The Utilities gained 0.25 percent.

China has raised benchmark interest rates four times and banks' required level of reserves seven times since October last year to contain inflationary pressures, but the latest data still show the country's consumer price index rising at the fastest pace in nearly three years in March.

Property developer China Resources Land, which is interest-rate sensitive, fell 3.0 percent to 13.66 HK dollars, while rival China Overseas Land retreated 2.2 percent to 15.14 HK dollars.

Oil producer PetroChina, the worst-performing blue-chip, was down 3.1 percent at 11.24 HK dollars as its 14 percent rise in first-quarter net profit to 37 billion yuan (about 5.7 billion U.S. dollars) missed expectations, with the slower earnings growth attributed to higher-than-expected costs and lower-than-expected realized oil prices.

Upstream oil producer Cnooc also fell 2.0 percent to 19.20 HK dollars, while oil refiner Sinopec was down 0.8 percent to 7.84 HK dollars.

Bucking the downtrend, Chinese coal producer China Coal, the best-performing blue chip, jumped 4.2 percent to 10.80 HK dollars after posting strong on-quarter earnings growth.

Wireless operator China Unicom rebounded to end 2.3 percent higher at 15.62 HK dollars on bargain hunting, after a 2.5 percent fall Wednesday post first-quarter results.

Heavyweight HSBC Holdings added 0.78 percent to 84.45 HK dollars, while Hang Seng Bank rose 0.08 percent to 121.50 HK dollars. [ Among other blue chips, HKEX, the city's sole bourse operator, closed 0.72 percent lower to 179.30 HK dollars. Hutchinson Whampoa closed down 0.5 percent at 89.35 HK dollars.

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