HK stocks fall as China, US markets hurt sentiment

HONG KONG - Hong Kong's stock market fell Friday in an erratic session as weakness in China and US markets weighed on investor sentiment.

By (AP)

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Published: Fri 8 Aug 2008, 3:19 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 11:51 AM

The blue-chip Hang Seng Index closed down 218.99 points, or about 1 percent, at 21,885.21 after swinging in and out of positive territory.

Investors found few incentives after Wall Street tumbled Thursday as further troubles in the financial sector, higher unemployment and lackluster retail sales touched off fresh concerns about the economy. The Dow Jones industrials shed nearly 225 points.

But a steep decline in mainland China markets, where Shanghai's main index dropped 4.5 percent, may have been the biggest blow to sentiment.

‘Investors were hoping for the government to stabilize the market but there's no special policies being launched,’ said Castor Pang, an analyst at Sun Hung Kai Financial. ‘Investors are disappointed.’

Chinese airlines took a beating, with China Southern falling 5.3 percent to HK$2.88 and Air China off 4.8 percent at HK$3.78. Shipping firms such as China Cosco Holdings, off 9 percent, also were down.

Banks retreated amid more worries about financials. HSBC lost 1.2 percent to HK$127.4 and China Construction Bank dipped 2.1 percent to HK$6.7.

Lenovo Group, the world's fourth-largest PC maker, bucked the trend, jumping 4.4 percent to HK$5.47 after reporting solid earnings. The Beijing-based company said Thursday its quarterly profits rose 65 percent as strong sales in China and emerging economies offset a downturn in the flagging United States.

Refiner China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., or Sinopec, rose as oil prices dropped below US$119 a barrel in Friday trade. Its shares gained 1.7 percent to HK$8.3.

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