Thursday, September 18, 2008

Hong Kong stocks ride on roller coaster amid worldwide capital injection news

Hong Kong stocks experienced a vibratile trading day, staging a huge rally in the afternoon from an over 1,000 points plunge in the morning session, on news that leading central banks worldwide launched a coordinated effort to ease liquidity in the financial markets.

Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng Index edged down 4.73 points, 0.03 percent, to close at 17,632.46 Thursday, after trading between 16,283.72 and 17,849.97.

Regional stocks all tumbled in early trading following another sell-off on Wall Street, where the Dow Jones industrial average fell about 450 points, or 4.06 percent, to 10,609 overnight.

Hong Kong stocks opened 2.93 percent lower Thursday, and quickly fell off the 17,000 level in the first several minutes during the morning session, tracking losses of the U.S. market overnight amid a new wave of financial tsunami triggered by LehmanBrothers which filed for bankruptcy. The Hang Seng Index once nosedived to the intraday low of 16,283.72, down 1,353.47 points, or 7.67 percent lower during the morning trading, and rallied hugely to the day high of 17,849.97 in the afternoon.

Leading central banks, including the U.S. Federal Reserve, the Bank of Japan, the European Central Bank and the Bank of England, took a coordinated effort to ease strains in the financial markets,making 180-billion U.S. dollars available to improve liquidity in the money markets.

The stock market was also boosted during the afternoon session on news that the Hong Kong Monetary Authority attempted to ease the credit squeeze by injecting 1.56 billion HK dollars into the banking system.

Turnover rose to 102.23 billion HK dollars , above 100 billion HK dollars for the first time since May 7 , from Wednesday's 76.23 billionHK dollars .

Other Chinese bank stocks regained lost ground in the afternoon.

Blue-chip heavyweight HSBC, which accounts for the largest weighting of the Hang Seng Index, was down 0.17 percent to 114.90 HK dollars.

Bank of China, the country's second largest bank trimmed the decline to 0.69 percent at 2.88 HK dollars. China Construction Bank, the third largest bank in China, narrowed its loss to 0.63 per cent at 4.7 HK dollars. ICBC, China's largest lender, rallied 0.25 percent at 4.02 HK dollars. Bankcomm recovered 1.82 percent at 6.7 HK dollars.

China Mobile, the largest mobile phone operator in the country and the market's largest stock measured by capitalization, rallied4.27 percent to 73.2 HK dollars.

Netcom's shareholders passed the merger with China Unicom to set up a new Unicom, up 6.76 percent to 16.12 HK dollars and 10.8 percent to 11.08 HK dollars respectively.

The Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited, the sole market operator, was down 0.79 percent to 87.88 HK dollars.

With international oil futures bounding, China's largest offshore oil producer CNOOC was down 0.49 percent to 8.16 HK dollars. PetroChina, the country's largest oil producer, was flat at 7.45 HK dollars. Sinopec Corp, Asia's largest refiner, was down0.17 percent to 6.04 HK dollars.

Source: Xinhua

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