The Hong Kong and mainland China stock markets eked out small gains after see-sawing on Tuesday, as investors weighed signs of economic recovery in China against a dip overnight in US markets and an uptick in coronavirus cases globally.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index edged up less than 0.1 per cent to 25,184.85 after dropping by as much as 0.7 per cent during the day. On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.4 per cent to 3,410.61 after it slipped by as much as 0.4 per cent earlier.
“Stocks have had a choppy session in Asia, with investors shifting to and fro between Covid-19 resurgence, central bank stimulus and a convincing economic rebound in China,” said Stephen Innes, chief global markets strategist at AxiCorp.
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On the mainland, the Caixin/Markit manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index, which was released earlier on Tuesday, rose to 53.1 in August from 52.8 in July, beating median expectations in a Bloomberg survey of 52.5. The PMI remained in positive territory for a fourth consecutive month and marked its biggest expansion since January 2011.
The PMI data “has stopped further erosion of the markets and is cushioning them from going down further” after Chinese state-owned banks reported disappointing earnings on Monday, said Louis Tse Ming-kwong, managing director of VC Asset Management. “The markets see-sawed between old and new economy stocks,” he said. “Investors are taking a wait-and-see approach rather than going in at full speed. There was quite a lot of profit-taking and selling, especially from retail investors preparing for upcoming IPOs.”
Yum China Holdings, the operator of KFC and Pizza Hut restaurants in mainland China, will list on the main board of the Hong Kong bourse on September 10, according to the stock exchange’s calendar.
Four companies debuted on mainland bourses on Tuesday. In Shanghai, chemical producer Xinyaqiang Silicon Chemistry rose by 44 per cent. In Shenzhen, steel pipe manufacturer Shengtak NewMaterial was 450 per cent higher, Ningbo Daye Garden Machinery, which manufacturers agricultural machines, rose 562 per cent, and Ningbo Jianan Electronics, which produces measurement instruments, was up 693 per cent on the ChiNext index.
Meanwhile, Chinese liquor giant Kweichow Moutai, which was one of the most heavily traded mainland stocks on the Stock Connect, gained 0.9 per cent to 1,801.98 yuan on Tuesday.
In Hong Kong, Geely Automobile Holdings led the gains with a 4.4 per cent rise. The Chinese carmaker said this week that it had completed its listing consultation and was ready to submit an application to list on the Star Market in Shanghai.
New economy stocks continued to outperform. While benchmark heavyweight Tencent Holdings rose 1.6 per cent to HK$539, China Literature, the mainland’s largest online publisher, which Tencent owns, rose 4.7 per cent. Cloud services provider Kingsoft soared 7.2 per cent.
Chinese smartphone and home appliances giant Xiaomi continued its rise, climbing 8.9 per cent to an all-time high of HK$25.60 on Tuesday.
Property stocks, on the other hand, led the losses, after it emerged that Hong Kong’s lived-in home prices declined in July at their fastest pace in five months. China Overseas Land & Investment fell 2.9 per cent, Sun Hung Kai Properties declined 2.4 per cent and Country Garden slipped 1.1 per cent.
Elsewhere in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 dipped by less than 0.1 per cent, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 1.8 per cent. South Korea’s Kospi, meanwhile, gained 1 per cent after the government unveiled plans to ramp up economic stimulus, according to Reuters.
On Monday, southbound trading, or trading in Hong Kong shares by mainland China-based investors, along the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect rose 10.6 per cent to 8.755 billion yuan (US$1.3 billion), its highest daily turnover in six weeks.
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