By Laura He, MarketWatch
Reuters Enlarge Image
HONG KONG (MarketWatch) — Hong Kong stocks declined on Tuesday, retreating from a seven-year closing high, as investors took some profit after eight straight sessions of advances.
Meanwhile, Shanghai markets extended recent rallies after a choppy session, as investors looked ahead to a slew of key economic data due out on Wednesday, including China’s GDP growth figures for the first quarter.
Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI +1.83% dropped 1.6% to 27,561.49, with the mainland-China-tracking Hang Seng China Enterprises /zigman2/quotes/210598031/delayed CN:160462 +1.83% down 2.2%.
Index heavyweight Tencent Holdings Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/204605823/delayed HK:700 +1.93% sank 5.5% following a 5.4% jump on Monday, after exchange filings showed the online-content company’s chairman, Pony Ma, sold 2 million shares last week for 3.2 billion Hong Kong dollars ($416 million), decreasing his personal stake in Tencent to 9.65%.
Macau gaming stocks extended losses, as investors worried China might restrict mainland tourist visits to Macau after announcing a new internal visa arrangement on Monday to slash visits to Hong Kong by residents from the neighboring city of Shenzhen. Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/202884203/delayed HK:27 +6.07% slid 5.6%, SJM Holdings Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/203488207/delayed HK:880 +4.68% sagged 5.4%, Sands China Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/207609245/delayed HK:1928 +5.20% fell 4.8%, and Wynn Macau Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/200973447/delayed HK:1128 +2.46% shed 4.4%.
Mainland banks were also broadly weaker, despite that China’s central bank injected 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) into money markets via seven-day reverse purchase agreements and cut the rate by 10 basis points to 3.35%, in a move attempted to guide short-term borrowing costs lower. China Merchants Bank Co., Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/209899244/delayed HK:3968 +6.43% gave up 6.1% following a previous 24.8% surge. China Minsheng Banking Corp., Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/208095167/delayed HK:1988 +3.04% lost 3.4%, and Bank of China Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/204682472/delayed HK:3988 +3.72% dropped 2%.
However, over on the mainland, Shanghai stocks continued to edge higher after hitting a seven-year high in the previous session. The Shanghai Composite Index /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP +1.40% added 0.3%, capping a three-day winning streak.
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Other Asian markets mostly eked out gains. Japan’s Nikkei Average /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK +0.46% nudged higher by less than 0.1%, and the broader Topix /zigman2/quotes/210598092/delayed JP:180460 +0.32% rose 0.3%. The yen /zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled USDJPY +0.1668% gained against the greenback, with the dollar buying ¥119.73, compared to ¥120.74 at Monday’s Tokyo stock close.
South Korea’s Kospi Composite Index /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 +1.00% also tacked on 0.6%, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO +0.82% edged 0.2% lower.