Hong Kong Stocks Rattled by North Korea Tensions

12-Aug-2017 Intellasia | Barrons | 6:00 AM Print This Post

Bellicose rhetoric between North Korea and the US triggered more jitters in Hong Kong trading Friday.

The city’s benchmark Hang Seng Index sank more than 1.5 percent after president Donald Trump ratcheted up his war of words with the rogue, wannabe nuclear-armed state. Trump on Thursday warned the North Korean regime to be “very, very nervous” after the former threatened to launch missiles into waters off the coast of Guam, a US territory in the Pacific.

The losses in Asian stocks today mirrored those in the US, where the S&P 500 shed 1.5 percent overnight. Gold rose about 0.8 percent.

In Hong Kong, Chinese social media giant Tencent (700.HK) was the biggest loser, shedding as much as 5 percent as investors saw an opportunity to take profit following a strong rally in the shares. HSBC (5.HK), another big index heavyweight, was down more than 2 percent.

Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing (388.HK), which operates the stock exchange, tumbled almost 3 percent. Financials like China Life Insurance (2628.HK) were also smashed. The life insurer dropped 3 percent.

“The escalating sabre-rattling between North Korea and the US has triggered jitters,” says KGI Securities Ben Kwong. He thinks the Hang Seng Index could find some support at 27,000 points.

Consumer staples were among the few blue-chip winners today. Want Want China (151.HK)which makes milk and rice cakeswas up more than 3.5 percent. Hengan International (1044.HK), which makes babies’ diapers, rose 1.5 percent.



Category: Hong Kong

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