Monday, 07 January 2013 14:52
HONG KONG: Hong Kong shares ended flat on Monday, with positive US jobs data offset by profit-taking after the index hit a 19-month high last week.
The benchmark Hang Seng Index dipped 1.34 points to close at 23,329.75 on turnover of HK$81.28 billion ($10.49 billion).
However analysts say the uptrend remains intact, with the positive outlook based on expectations the Chinese economy is on its way out of its slumber.
Traders cashed in after shares jumped last week in the wake of the US deal to avert the fiscal cliff of tax hikes and spending cuts that economists had warned would tip the country into recession.
Providing some buying support was news out of Washington on Friday showing the world's biggest economy added 155,000 jobs in December.
Internet giant Tencent fell 1.4 percent to HK$255.60 but is still up 2.7 percent for this year.
Among China banks ICBC dipped 0.7 percent to HK$5.75 and China Construction Bank slipped 0.2 percent to HK$6.49.
But Hong Kong property stocks rallied. Sun Hung Kai rose 2.1 percent to HK$121.30 and Henderson Land jumped 2.8 percent to HK$57.30 while Cheung Kong closed up 2.2 percent at HK$123.50.
Chinese shares closed up 0.37 percent. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rose 8.37 points to 2,285.36 on turnover of 96.9 billion yuan ($15.5 billion).
"The overall market will likely continue to rise as earlier economic indicators have pointed to a recovery in the domestic economy," Zheshang Securities analyst Zhang Yanbing told AFP.
Dealers are looking ahead to the release Friday of key data from Beijing, including inflation figures, with hopes rising that it will add to recent signs of improvement.
The figures come after two surveys last week showed manufacturing activity picked up in December.
Banking stocks rose on hopes of better corporate earnings after Pudong Development Bank at the weekend reported a more than 25 percent increase in net profit for last year. Its shares rose 2.99 percent to 10.32 yuan on Monday.
China Minsheng Banking Corp jumped 4.26 percent to 8.32 yuan and Industrial Bank gained 3.40 percent to 17.36 yuan.
But property developers fell on profit-taking. Poly Real Estate lost 1.76 percent to 13.94 yuan while Beijing Capital Development shed 1.44 percent to 13.00 yuan.
Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2013