More Sites

Hong Kong shares close slightly lower

Reported by AAP
Friday, June 1, 2012
Companies forced to change their nameConflict in Iraq and Syria is causing serious headaches for companies who happen to share the ISIS moniker

Hong Kong shares closed 0.38 per cent lower on Friday following weak manufacturing data from China, worse-than-expected US jobs figures and amid concerns about the eurozone.

The benchmark Hang Seng Index shed 71.18 points to 18,558.34 on turnover of $HK54.58 billion ($A7.26 billion).

The index has now lost all its gains from the turn of the year and is below its closing level for the end of 2011.

China's official purchasing managers' index (PMI) for manufacturing activity for May came in at 50.4 from 53.3 in April, while a separate survey by HSBC stood at 48.4 compared with 49.3 in April.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below 50 suggests contraction.

The HSBC data marked the seventh consecutive contraction, and the bank's chief China economist Qu Hongbin said the figure pointed to a slowing of the economy as it is hit by weak demand from debt-addled Europe and the United States.

"May's final reading confirmed that manufacturing growth slowed further on weakening demand from both global and domestic markets," he said.

"This points to a continuous slowdown of the real economy in the second quarter and should promote Beijing to step up easing efforts in the coming months."

In the United States the government lowered its estimate for first-quarter economic growth, to 1.9 per cent from 2.2 per cent while data on weekly unemployment claims and private-sector job creation in May were disappointing.

The results added to an already gloomy outlook as Spain's banking system looks fragile and Greece remains mired in political uncertainty.

"Investors continue to speculate whether there will be more fiscal stimulus in China, as well as the possibility of a third round of quantitative easing in the US, but those will continue to be overshadowed by the uncertainties in Europe," Conita Hung, director at Delta Asia Financial Group, said.

China Construction Bank rose 0.7 per cent to $HK5.42 while Bank of China ended down 0.3 per cent at $HK2.98 and ICBC lost 0.4 per cent to $HK4.70.

But Cathay Pacific Airways surged 4.2 per cent to $HK12.48, thanks to a continued decline in oil prices.

Chinese shares ended flat. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index, which covers both A and B shares, ended up 1.2 points, or 0.05 per cent, to 2,373.44 on turnover of 72.5 billion yuan ($A11.87 billion).

The market got a lift by hopes the weak manufacturing figures will spur Beijing into announcing more monetary easing policies to boost the economy.

"At this rate, the government may intervene with monetary stimulus towards the end of June," Zhou Xu, an analyst with Nanjing Securities, told Dow Jones Newswires.

Metals stocks were up, with Rising Nonferrous Metals jumping 5.05 per cent to 78.05 yuan and Baotou Steel Rare-Earth gaining 3.33 per cent to 45.67 yuan.

However, China Railway Erju slumped 3.77 per cent to 7.91 yuan while Tengda Construction lost 1.49 per cent to 3.31 yuan.

24/11/2014 23:02Sydney, Australia. 24 November,2014
advertisement