Hong Kong stocks edge lower as energy shares weaken

Hong Kong stocks edged lower Wednesday morning, with the Hang Seng Index down 0.3%, though the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, or the H-shares index inched 0.1% higher.

Energy stocks suffered broad-based declines after international crude-oil futures dropped sharply: Cnooc Ltd fell 1.3%, Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical Co lost 1.2%, Kunlun Energy Co. sagged 1.1%, PetroChina Co dropped 0.7%, and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., or Sinopec shed 0.4%.

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However, airlines advanced across the broad in anticipation of lower fuel costs, as China Southern Airlines Co jumped 3.2%, China Eastern Airlines Corp climbd 2.2%, Air China Ltd. gained 1.3%, and Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd added 0.6%.

Major Chinese banks also rose, with China Merchants Bank Coleading gains with a 2% advance. Among other market movers, online major Tencent Holdings Ltd pulled back by 0.6%, and telecoms giant China Mobile Ltd gave up 0.3%. New China Life Insurance Co  declined 2% after reports said some institutional investors had sold more than 30 million shares of the company for $ 221 million.

On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index extended its gains, rising 0.6% after rallying 3.1% a day earlier.

Source: MarketWatch

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Japanese Stocks Rise as GDP Grows Faster Than Forecast, Yen Weakens

Japanese stocks rose for a fourth day after the yen weakened to its lowest level against the dollar in a month and government data showed the economy expanded faster than expected.

Nomura Holdings Inc. climbed 1.7 percent after announcing it will repurchase as much as 20 billion yen of its shares. Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., which gets 60 percent of its sales from North America, rose 1.6 percent. Tiremaker Bridgestone Corp. jumped 2.5 percent, leading gains among companies that benefit from cheaper oil after crude fell to the lowest price in a month. Takata Corp. sank 8.8 percent after agreeing to double the recall of its faulty auto air bags.

The Topix index advanced 0.5 percent to 1,641.94 at the trading break in Tokyo, headed for the highest close since October 2007. All but nine of the gauge’s 33 industry groups gained. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average added 0.7 percent to 20,170.51. The yen traded at 120.87 per dollar, weakening for a third day and touching its weakest level since March 20.

Source: Bloomberg

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China’s Stocks Advance as Technology Companies Rally to Record

China’s stocks rose to a two-week high as a gauge of technology companies jumped to an all-time high on optimism state plans to boost the industry will lift profits.

Han’s Laser Technology Industry Group Co. and DHC Software Co. climbed more than 5 percent as the CSI 300 Information Technology Index advanced 3.5 percent. Siasun Robot & Automation Co. jumped by the 10 percent daily limit after the government yesterday outlined a plan to support high-tech manufacturing. Jiangsu Broadcasting Cable Information Network Corp. led gains by media companies. Hanergy Thin Film Power Group Ltd. plummeted 47 percent in Hong Kong before trading was suspended.

The Shanghai Composite Index added 1.3 percent to 4,476.09 at the 11:30 a.m. local-time break, extending Tuesday’s 3.1 percent rise, the most since Jan. 21. A gauge of technology companies has more than doubled this year, the best performer among 10 industry groups on the CSI 300 Index.

The CSI 300 rose 1.2 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng China Enterprises Index added 0.5 percent at 11:56 a.m., while the Hang Seng Index dropped 0.2 percent.

Source: Bloomberg

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