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Hong Kong Market ends firmer

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The Hong Kong share market finished session higher on Wednesday, 21 August 2019, thanks to the rally of pharmaceutical counters which helped to overshadowed weaker than expected earnings from blue chip companies. At closing bell, the Hang Seng Index advanced 0.15%, or 38.50 points, to 26,270.04. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index rose 0.44%, or 44.52 points, to 10,177.29.

U. S. stocks fell broadly on Wall Street on Tuesday after another slide in bond yields and a mixed batch of corporate earnings weighed on the market. The S&P 500 fell 23.14 points, or 0.8%, to 2,900.51. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 173.35, or 0.7%, to 25,962.44. The Nasdaq, which is heavily weighted with technology stocks, dropped 54.25, or 0.7%, to 7,948.56.

In the absence of further developments on the US-China trade war, investors appear to be shifting their focus to release of minutes from the Fed's July policy meeting later in the global day, when the central bank cut rates for the first time in more than a decade, and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell speech at a central banks meeting in Jackson Hole on Friday.

Blue chips were mixed. HSBC (00005) dipped 0.3% to HK$57.2. HKEX (00388) gained 0.8% to HK$254.4. Tencent (00700) edged down 0.2% to HK$332.6.

China Mobile (00941) softened 0.4% to HK$66.95. AIA (01299) nudged up 0.1% to HK$77.5. Bank of East Asia (00023) shed 1.7% t HK$20.85 after it reported interim earnings decline of 75%

Shares of Hong Kong and China Gas (3 HK), the city's dominant piped-gas provider, plunged after posting an 18.8 per cent fall in net profit year on year to HK$3.89 billion for the year's first half. Excluding one-off items, recurring net profit fell 5 per cent to HK$3.75 billion, as higher mainland natural gas distribution profit could not offset lower earnings from its Hong Kong gas business and new energy ventures.

Kingsoft (3888 HK) shares ended down after reporting a big first-half loss. The Beijing-based software and internet service company, which offers online games, cloud services and office software, reported that its net loss for the six months ending June totalled 1.75 billion yuan. A year ago in the same period, it posted a net profit of 12.8 million yuan.

Xiaomi (1810 HK) shares declined, after posting dismal results showing its second-quarter profits were down 87 per cent amid the global smartphone market slowdown.

Pharmaceutical counters were higher as the National Healthcare Security Administration initially affirmed that 128 drugs would be likely included in access negotiations. CSPC Pharmaceutical (01093) shot up 3.5% to HK$14.9. Sino Biopharmaceutical (01177) jumped 3.6% to HK$10.46. WuXi AppTec (02359) gained 2.9% to HK$83.3. Sinopharm Group (01099) put on 2% to HK$28.5. 3SBio Inc. (01530) added 3% to HK$12.96.

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, August 21 2019. 17:42 IST