By Laura He, MarketWatch
Reuters Enlarge Image
HONG KONG (MarketWatch) — Hong Kong and Shanghai stocks extended recent gains Tuesday, the last full trading day before the Lunar New Year holiday, as they shrugged off downbeat Chinese home-price data.
The Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI -0.09% edged up 0.2%, after rising for the previous three sessions, while the Shanghai Composite Index /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP -0.65% advanced 0.8% to notch a seven-session winning streak.
Official data showed Tuesday that 69 of the top 70 Chinese cities recorded falls in the price of new homes over January. On average, those prices were down 5.1% year-on-year, accelerating from a 4.3% drop in December.
Most Chinese property stocks declined in Hong Kong. Poly Property Group Co. /zigman2/quotes/209766147/delayed HK:119 +0.90% tumbled 3%, Hang Seng constituent China Resources Land Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/202417326/delayed HK:1109 -0.66% lost 1.2%, and Country Garden Holdings Co. Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/201681083/delayed HK:2007 +0.85% pulled back 0.3%.
But major mainland Chinese banks posted gains that supported the market, with China Citic Bank Corp. /zigman2/quotes/205809997/delayed HK:998 +0.24% up 2.3%, China Minsheng Banking Corp. /zigman2/quotes/208095167/delayed HK:1988 0.00% climbing 2.1%, Bank of Communications Co. /zigman2/quotes/203442771/delayed HK:3328 +1.58% higher by 0.9%, and Bank of China Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/204682472/delayed HK:3988 +0.96% tacking on 0.2%.
Among the heaviest-weighted Hang Seng components, HSBC Holdings PLC /zigman2/quotes/202687335/delayed HK:5 -0.10% and China Mobile Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/200868736/delayed HK:941 -0.10% both added 0.5%, and Tencent Holdings Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/204605823/delayed HK:700 -1.72% rose 0.2%. Hong Kong telecom operator Hutchison Telecommunications Hong Kong Holdings Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/202249995/delayed HK:215 -0.66% rose 2.6%, as the market accepted the company’s 9% year-on-year profit drop for last year. Its corporate parent Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. traded 0.5% higher.
Hong Kong markets were due to open for a half day on Wednesday, while those in Shanghai were due to close for the rest of the week.
Elsewhere, other major Asian markets mostly declined, after a breakdown in Greek debt talks dented investor sentiment.
Japan’s Nikkei Average /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK +0.09% inched down 0.1%, retreating from a nearly eight-year high from the previous session, while the Topix /zigman2/quotes/210598092/delayed JP:180460 +0.29% nosed 0.2% higher. The yen /zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled USDJPY -0.4584% rose slightly against the greenback to ¥118.53, from ¥118.59 at the Tokyo stock exchange close on Monday.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO +0.27% also dropped 0.5%, while South Korea’s Kospi Composite Index /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 +0.58% drifted higher by 0.2%.