Hong Kong shares end down 2.6pc in worst loss in 5 months
HONG KONG, May 7 — Hong Kong shares suffered its worst per centage loss in five months today, as renewed doubts about the euro zone’s ability to tackle its debt crisis after elections in Greece and France hit oil firms and outperforming stocks.
The Hang Seng Index closed down 2.61 per cent at 20,536.65. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong finished down 2.83 per cent at 10,574.41.
The Shanghai Composite Index ended flat at 2,451.95, extending its outperformance of its regional peers in the past month, with strength in resource-related stocks offsetting weakness in the property sector.
* Excluding sessions with turnover bumped up by block placements, total bourse turnover neared the highest in slightly over a month. Losses today took the Hang Seng Index to the lowest close since April 12.
* CNOOC Ltd and PetroChina Co Ltd slumped 4.2 and 3.4 per cent, respectively, hit by sliding oil prices after the French and Greek elections raised concerns about the euro zone’s austerity measures and reignited fears of falling energy demand. Fuel prices in the mainland could be cut as early as this week due to the drop in global oil prices, the official Shanghai Securities News reported today. Since Friday, US crude has lost more than 6 per cent, while Brent has dropped over 4 per cent.
* Chinese Internet giant Tencent Holdings lost 4.9 per cent, further slipping from an all-time high recorded last Thursday and before the Facebook initial public offering pricing disappointed investors by being set at the midpoint of an indicative range. Tencent, which had risen partly due to spillover optimism about the Facebook IPO, has shed 6.5 per cent in the last two sessions since, but is still up 48 per cent on the year. — Reuters