SHANGHAI, March 9 (Reuters) - Hong Kong stocks had their worst day in nearly three months on Thursday, with main indexes closing at month lows, bruised by a slump in energy and raw material shares.
The market, which rebounded roughly 8 percent during the first two months of the year, is also suffering from growing selling pressure as risk appetites have been reduced ahead of a widely-expected U.S. interest rate hike next week.
The Hang Seng index fell 1.2 percent, to 23,501.56, while the China Enterprises Index lost 1.8 percent, to 10,095.79 points.
All main sectors lost ground, with energy shares among the worst casualties, after crude prices dived more than 5 percent overnight on a spike in U.S. oil stockpiles.
The Hang Seng materials sector also fell sharply, down over 3 percent, despite China’s producer price index (PPI)jumping 7.8 percent in February from a year earlier.
But some investors remain bullish on Hong Kong equities in the long term, citing China’s economic recovery that is being driven by improving fundamentals.
Dutch asset manager Robeco said Hong Kong shares will benefit from China’s economic restructuring, a steady flow of money from Chinese investors, and the market’s modest valuations. (Reporting by Samuel Shen and John Ruwitch; Editing by Richard Borsuk)