Sunday, October 24

Hong Kong stocks track Asian peers lower amid CEO Carrie Lam’s policy address

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Hong Kong stocks fell on Wednesday, in line with other Asian markets, largely unaffected by the first hour of the annual policy address from the financial hub’s leader Carrie Lam.

** The Hang Seng Index lost 0.46% to 23,992.99 by the end of the morning session, while the China Enterprises Index slipped 0.9% to 8,438.84.

** Mainland Chinese markets were closed for a public holiday, and MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.55%.

** In the early stages of a wide ranging speech, which is expected to take around two hours, Hong Kong chief executive officer Carrie Lam said the government would develop a new metropolitan area in northern Hong Kong and would strengthen national security education. ** Property stocks fell slightly more than the broader market. The blue chip property sub-index eased 0.9%, while the mainland index for the sector lost 1%.

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** Chinese property manager Country Garden Services Holdings fell 4%, after it said on Monday a Fantasia Holdings unit failed to repay a 700 million yuan ($108 million) loan due on Oct. 4

** Energy firms gained as oil prices continued to test multi-year highs. PetroChina surged 4.03%, Sinopec Corp advanced 3.57% and CNOOC gained 2.7%.

** Alibaba gained 2.37%, following reports that Daily Journal Corp chaired by Charlie Munger, the longtime business partner of Warren Buffett had increased its stake in the Chinese tech giant.

** The Hang Seng Tech Index slid 0.83%, while the financial sector was up 0.12%.

(Reporting by Alun John; editing by Rashmi Aich)

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