HK stocks rise as WuXi Biologics, Alibaba power gains, Asian markets get US stimulus boost

22-Oct-2020 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:02 AM Print This Post

Hong Kong stocks advanced for a fourth day with investors encouraged by positive news on Covid-19 vaccine development, while Asian markets climbed on optimism US officials will reach consensus on a financial aid package to spur the economy before the presidential election.

The Hang Seng Index gained 0.7 per cent to 24,747.93 in the morning session, set for its best winning streak in two weeks.

WuXi Biologics, which has a 2.4 per cent weight on the benchmark, surged 11.5 per cent to HK$224.8 and was headed for the biggest gain in two years. Telecommunications stocks also rallied with China Unicom winning 7.4 per cent and China Mobile adding 1.9 per cent.

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Alibaba, the owner of this newspaper, also rose for a fourth day with a 0.5 per cent rise to HK$300.80, bringing its gain this month to 8.9 per cent as investors prepare for the listing of its affiliate Ant Group in Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Elsewhere, gauges in Japan, South Korea and Singapore rose by at least 0.4 per cent while the S&P/ASX 200 index in Australia ticked up 0.2 per cent. US officials at loggerheads over a trillion-dollar Covid-19 stimulus made progress on the relief package, according to news reports, and planned to resume talks and reach an agreement before the November 3 presidential election.

AstraZeneca is said to be resuming its Covid-19 vaccine trials in the US as early as this week after US regulators completed the review of a serious illness that led to suspension of the trial, according to a Reuters report. Regulators in UK, Brazil, India and South Africa have also allowed the company to resume its trials.

“The market is optimistic although fluctuations exist,” said Daniel So, analyst at CMB International in Hong Kong. “Progress in vaccine development continues to support the Hang Seng index.”

Among other notable moves, Hong Kong’s flagship carrier Cathay Pacific Airways climbed 4 per cent to HK$5.95, after adding as much as 6.6 per cent. The carrier plans to eliminate 8,500 jobs, including not filling 2,600 of existing vacancies. The restructuring will cost HK$2.2 billion, it said in a filing on Wednesday.

Equities on mainland China were subdued, except for two newly listed ones. The Shanghai Composite Index declined 0.4 per cent to 3,316.35. Traders appear to be taking little risk before the Fifth Plenary Session of the Communist Party of China next week.

Both Jiangsu Rijiu Optoelectronics Joint stock and Changzhou Aohong Electronics soared by the daily cap of 44 per cent to 9.46 yuan and 26.25 yuan, respectively.


Category: Hong Kong

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