June 21, 2019 / 9:26 AM / a year ago

HK shares ease tracking broader Asia; posts biggest weekly gain in 7 months

* Hang Seng falls 0.3%; H-shares flat

* Asia markets lower after rallying on dovish central banks

* Local interest rates catch up with LIBOR, HKD firms

HONG KONG, June 21 (Reuters) - The Hong Kong stock market edged down on Friday tracking broader Asia, but clocked the biggest weekly gain since November 2018 on hopes of globally central banks lowering interest rates, after the U.S. Federal Reserve hinted about a cut in July. ** At the close of trade, the benchmark Hang Seng index was down 0.3% at 28,473.71. For the week, it ended up 5%, it’s biggest jump since the week ended Nov. 2. ** The Hang Seng China Enterprises index ended nearly flat on Friday, but up 4.8% for the week - its largest gain in over seven months. ** The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares rose 1.5%, while the IT sector was flat, the financial sector ended 0.3% lower and the property sector dipped 0.6%. ** Local interest rates climbed, with several tenors closing its spread with U.S. rates., lending strength to the local currency. The Hong Kong Dollar was last seen at 7.8088 per dollar, strongest since December 2018. ** The local stock market locked in most of those weekly gains before Friday as the U.S. Federal Reserve said it could ease policy as soon as next month and with other central banks seen following suit. ** Equities were also cheered this week by news that the Chinese and U.S. leaders will meet to discuss trade at the Japan G20 summit next week. China said on Thursday it hoped Washington would bring a problem-solving attitude to the talks. ** After rallying earlier in the week, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.2% on Friday, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down almost 1%. ** The top gainer on the Hang Seng was CNOOC Ltd, which gained 2.6%, while the biggest loser was CLP Holdings Ltd , which fell 4.3%. ** CLP posted its biggest drop in over a decade on Friday after the power company warned it would book a first-half loss due to a big writedown on the value of its Australian business. ** China’s main Shanghai Composite index closed up 0.5%, and recorded its largest weekly gains in over 2 months. ** About 2.24 billion Hang Seng index shares were traded. The volume traded in the previous trading session was 1.88 billion. ** At close, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 27.15% over Hong Kong-listed H-shares. (Reporting by Noah Sin; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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