The Hong Kong share market closed down on Monday, 16 September 2019, as risk sentiments weighed down after China's economy continued to show signs of weakness in a release of its factory output data for the month of August on Monday, amid lashes from trade disputes with the US and soft domestic demand. At closing bell, the Hang Seng Index declined 0.83%, or 228.14 points, to 27,124.55. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index sank 0.56%, or 59.50 points, to 10,628.25.
China's industrial production growing at its weakest pace in 17-1/2 years in August 2019, amid rising US trade pressure and softening domestic demand. Retail sales and investment gauges also worsened. Industrial output growth unexpectedly weakened to 4.4% in August from the same period a year earlier, the slowest pace since February 2002 and receding from 4.8% in July, the National Bureau of Statistics reported Monday. Retail sales growth eased to 7.5%, from 7.6% in July. Fixed-asset investment rose 5.5% for the first eight months of the year from the same period in 2018, down from Jan-July's 5.7%.
China is in the midst of a more-than-a-year-long trade war with the US that has upended global supply chains. Trade negotiators are expected to meet later this month, with a top-level summit meeting to be held in Washington in October, though a resolution appears unlikely.
Blue chips were lower. HSBC (00005) was down 0.2% to HK$60.6. HKEX (00388) slipped 2.4% to HK$235 after the LSEG rejected its bid to merge both exchanges. Tencent (00700) retreated 0.9% to HK$346.6.
China Mobile (00941) shed 0.7% to HK$67.05. AIA (01299) declined by 1.3% to HK$79.65.
Energy stocks surged after crude oil prices spiked as much as 20% this morning after two plants at the heart of Saudi Arabia's oil industry were attacked on Saturday. This has affected around half the country's oil production and around 5% of global supply. CNOOC (00883) surged 7.4% to HK$12.78. PetroChina (00857) shot up 4.3% to HK$4.32. Sinopec (00386) gained 1.8% to HK$5.04.
Shares of aviation companies were pressured as fuel cost rise in tandem with oil prices. China Eastern Airlines (00670) sank 5.2% to HK$4.02. China Southern Airlines (01055) dropped 3.9% to HK$4.94. Air China (00753) tumbled 4.6% to HK$7.23. Cathay Pacific Airways (00293) lost 4% to HK$10.44.
The US Senator Chuck Schumer together with Senator Tom Cotton mentioned national security concerns in a letter asking the Federal Communications Commission to review the licenses given to China Telecom (00728) and China Unicom (00762). Telecom dipped 0.5% to HK$3.68. Unicom edged down 0.5% to HK$8.45.
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