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China Tech Stocks Charge Drives Hong Kong Gains

Alibaba soared more than 8% and food delivery platform Meituan advanced by over 3%, pushing the Hang Seng tech index up too

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Shanghai Stock Exchange
Asian equities slipped to their lowest in nearly two years on Tuesday. Photo: Reuters.

 

Hong Kong traders finished the year on a high on Friday as surging Chinese tech stocks helped it shrug off a weak lead from Wall Street on the last trading day of the year.

The benchmark Hang Seng Index closed up by more than 1%, on a day when many Asian bourses – Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand – were closed for public holidays.

The Hang Seng Index was up 1.24%, or 285.66 points, to 23,397.67 at the close in a holiday-shortened trading session.

Hangzhou-based conglomerate Alibaba was up more than 8%, with food delivery platform Meituan up by over 3%, pushing the Hang Seng tech index past gains of 3% overall in a holiday-shortened trading session.

 

Also on AF: Cathay Condemns Aircrew Breaches as Hong Kong Braces for Covid-19 Wave

 

The daily gains signalled some good news at the end of a tough year for many Chinese tech giants, which have been battered by Beijing’s drive to rein in their outsized influence on the world’s second-biggest economy.

The Hang Seng Index has been the world’s poorest-performing major gauge in 2021, down about 14% for the year, while the Hang Seng tech index is nearly halved from a February peak.

Shanghai was marginally up at the close, while Sydney and Wellington posted slight losses.

The Shanghai Composite Index was up 20.59 points, or 0.57%, to 3,639.78 at the close, while the Shenzhen Composite Index on China’s second exchange rose 12.98 points, or 0.52%, to 2,530.14.

 

Omicron Impact Fears

During the previous trading day, global stocks were mixed as markets weighed the efforts to limit the health and economic effects of the latest fast-spreading Covid-19 wave.

The Omicron variant has led to record new caseloads of Covid-19 worldwide, but markets have remained sanguine in light of research suggesting the health effects will be milder than with earlier variants.

Paris and Frankfurt both climbed but London fell, and Wall Street paused its rally, with both the Dow and S&P 500 retreating from all-time highs.

“Worries about the Omicron variant have receded, but the speed of its spread is tempering sentiment,” analysts at Charles Schwab wrote.

 

Key figures around 0750 GMT –

Tokyo > Nikkei 225: closed for public holiday at 28,791.71

Hong Kong > Hang Seng Index: UP 1.24% at 23,397.67 (close) 

Shanghai > Composite: UP 0.57% at 3,639.78 (close)

New York > S&P 500: DOWN 0.3% at 4,778.73 (close)

London > FTSE 100: DOWN 0.2% at 7,403.01 (close)

 

  • AFP with additional reporting by Sean O’Meara

 

Read more:

Hong Kong Stocks Post Their Worst Yearly Performance in a Decade

Indian Stock Markets Set for Their Best Year Since 2017

 

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Sean O'Meara

Sean O'Meara is an Editor at Asia Financial. He has been a newspaper man for more than 30 years, working at local, regional and national titles in the UK as a writer, sub-editor, page designer and print editor. A football, cricket and rugby fan, he has a particular interest in sports finance.

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