Hong Kong share market closed marginally higher on Thursday, 09 May 2019, as expectation of more stimulus in China was offset by rekindled concerns over an escalation of the U. S.-China trade conflict after U. S. President Donald Trump issued an executive order seen to be aimed at banning Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei. At closing bell, the Hang Seng Index edged up 0.02%, or 6.36 points, to 28,275.07. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index was up 0.07%, or 7.48 points, to 10,811.62.
City stocks opened lower after more conciliatory messages from Washington on trade. The U. S. President Donald Trump signed on Wednesday an executive order forbidding U. S. companies from using telecommunications equipment made by foreign companies deemed national security threats. The order apparently targets Chinese information technology giant Huawei Technologies Co. But stocks displayed some resilience around the midmorning as investors moved to hunt bargains. In the afternoon, the market struggled for direction.
Blue chips were mostly firmer. HSBC (00005) nudged up 0.4% to HK$66.2. HKEX (00388) ebbed 0.2% to HK$247.6. Tencent (00700) dipped 2.3% to HK$365.6 after it reported better-than-expected 1Q net, but revenue growth came in lower than expectations. China Mobile (00941) softened 0.8% to HK$71.25.
AIA (01299) nudged down 0.5% to HK$77 after Goldman Sachs tweaked down its target price for the insurer.
The US government has put Huawei on a blacklist that could forbid it from doing business with American companies. Handset component suppliers were dragged down by the news. Sunny Optical (02382) shed 5.1% to HK$85.05. AAC Technologies (02018) dropped 2.9% to HK$44.65. ZTE Corporation (00763) slumped 6.1% to HK$21.4. Comba Telecom (02342) dipped 4.1% to HK$1.63.
ECONOMIC NEWS: The Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) released today the volume and price statistics of external merchandise trade for March 2019. In March 2019, the volume of Hong Kong's total exports of goods decreased by 3.0% over March 2018. Concurrently, the volume of imports of goods decreased by 2.0%. For the first quarter of 2019 as a whole, the volume of Hong Kong's total exports of goods decreased by 4.2% over the same period in 2018. Concurrently, the volume of imports of goods decreased by 5.0%. Comparing the first quarter of 2019 with the fourth quarter of 2018 on a seasonally adjusted basis, the volume of total exports of goods decreased by 2.8%. Concurrently, the volume of imports of goods decreased by 2.9%. Comparing March 2019 with March 2018, the prices of total exports of goods increased by 2.3%. Concurrently, the prices of imports of goods also increased by 2.3%. As regards price changes in the first quarter of 2019 over the same period in 2018, the prices of total exports of goods increased by 2.2%. Concurrently, the prices of imports of goods also increased by 2.2%.
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