Hong Kong stocks rebounded from their biggest setback in a month amid signs of better corporate earnings, while an overnight rally in US equities helped shore up buying sentiment.
The Hang Seng Index added 0.4 per cent to 28,755.34 at the close of trading on Thursday. The gauge slipped 1.8 per cent a day earlier for the biggest loss since March 24 amid concerns about rising Covid-19 cases. China’s Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.2 per cent.
China Life Insurance rose 1.2 per cent to HK$15.76, after saying first-quarter profit may have risen as much as 75 per cent from a year ago. China Unicom was also among the gainers, rising by 0.7 per cent for a fifth day of advance. The phone carrier earlier reported a 21 per cent increase in first-quarter earnings to 3.84 billion yuan (US$592 million) from the year before.
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More earnings reports are expected in the days ahead, with traders looking out for bets that will be able to withstand potential policy tightening by China amid signs of an economic rebound. Bank of Canada had earlier signalled its intention to dial back its asset purchases.
“The year of 2021 would be a game of earnings and valuations,” said Wang Jun, an analyst at BOC International in Shanghai. “As long as earnings growth holds up and liquidity tightening doesn’t overstep expectations, there’s a low chance of a systemic risk for stocks.”
Some 12 Hang Seng Index members including HSBC and Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing are due to report in the following week. Most of the 300 members in the CSI 300 Index of Chinese onshore stocks are also expected to report through the end of April.
Average profit for the 55 constituents on the Hang Seng primary gauge probably rose by 26 per cent, according to Bloomberg data, while growth for CSI 300 members probably reached 40 per cent. Low base effect may have accentuated gains due to the Covid-19 outbreak a year earlier.
Other major markets in Asia all rose on Thursday, led by the Nikkei 225’s 2.4 per cent rally while the S&P/ASX 200 added 0.8 per cent. The S&P 500 Index rebounded almost 1 per cent, buoyed up stocks in economic reflation bets.
Meituan added 3.5 per cent to HK$292, its biggest gain in a week after completinga US$9.6 billion fundraising to bolster its food-delivery infrastructure. Anta Sports Products, China’s biggest sportswear maker, rallied 3.3 per cent to HK$135.60, recouping part of a 7.7 per cent slump on Wednesday, sparked by the share placement plan by is biggest shareholder at a discount.
Ping An Insurance (Group) slid 2.8 per cent to HK$86.20, set for the lowest close since November, before the release of the quarterly result later today. Its Shanghai-listed stock declined 0.2 per cent to 74.10 yuan.
Anhui Huaheng Biotechnology, which makes amino acid, jumped 52 per cent on its Shanghai’s Star Market debut, from its initial public offering price to 34.97 yuan.
This article Hong Kong stocks rebound from biggest decline in four weeks on upbeat corporate earnings reports first appeared on South China Morning Post