Liquor maker Kweichow Moutai closes at record high as China stocks edge higher

Zhang Shidong

Stocks in China and Hong Kong ended mixed, as traders awaited a Federal Reserve meeting that will decide if interest rates will be changed.

The Shanghai Composite Index added 0.3 per cent to 2,985.66 at the close on Wednesday, rebounding from its biggest decline in 10 weeks a day earlier. Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index slipped 0.1 per cent to 26,754.12.

The Fed decision, which is due at 2am Hong Kong time on Thursday, will set the stage for global monetary policy through the rest of the year, as lots of emerging nations follow the Fed’s rate moves to maintain the stability of their currencies and prevent capital outflows. Citic Securities said it was a matter of time before the People’s Bank of China lowered borrowing costs, should the Fed cut the benchmark interest rate this time.

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There is an 83 per cent probability that the Fed will cut the interest rate by between 17.5 and 20 basis points at the meeting tomorrow, according to Bloomberg data.

“The US president attempts to influence the Fed to cut rates publicly and directly,” said Hannah Anderson, a strategist for global markets at JPMorgan Asset Management. “The Fed maintains its focus on the economic data, but the economic data is also weakening in response to Presidential policy choices – namely the trade war – which can then induce the Fed to cut rates.”

Liquor distillers led the pack in the mainland on expectations that industry juggernaut Kweichow Moutai will increase supply in the fourth quarter. The stock gained 5 per cent to a record 1,148.90 yuan. Smaller rivals Wuliangye Yibin rose 3.1 per cent to 135.56 yuan and Luzhou Laojiao added 2.7 per cent 90.20 yuan.

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Sou Yu Te Group surged by the 10 per cent daily limit to 2.62 yuan in Shenzhen trading after the clothes maker said it had agreed to set up a supply-chain unit with an investment arm of the Guangzhou municipal government. Sou Yue Te will hold a 40 per cent stake in the 80 million-yuan (US$11.3 million) joint venture, it said in an exchange statement.

Beijing HualuBaina Film & TV surged 8.3 per cent to 6.27 yuan in Shenzhen after the filmmaker said its biggest shareholder Infore Investment Holdings had boosted its stake in the company by 1 per cent.

Crude oil-linked stocks slumped as Saudi Arabia said it had already restored 41 per cent of the capacity at an oil-processing complex that was attacked by a drone earlier this week. China Petroleum & Chemical Corp, also known as Sinopec, fell 1.7 per cent to 5.07 yuan in Shanghai, and PetroChina, the nation’s biggest oil producer, slipped 1.4 per cent to 6.33 yuan. Their Hong Kong-traded stocks slid 2.1 per cent and 1.6 per cent respectively.

Oil futures fell as much as 1.2 per cent on Wednesday in New York after tumbling 5.7 per cent a day earlier.

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