Headline indices of the Hong Kong stock market finished session down on Monday, 10 February 2020, as investors continued to lock in profits following the downturn on Wall Street on Friday while keeping a close watch on the development of the novel coronavirus outbreak. At closing bell, the benchmark Hang Seng Index dropped 0.59%, or 162.93 points, to 27,241.34. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index was down 0.47%, or 50.74 points, to 10,654.43.
Selling hit the market from the outset, with sentiment soured by a Wall Street downturn Friday after the U. S. Federal Reserve, in its congressional report, cited the fallout from the spreading coronavirus outbreak chiefly in China as a possible economic risk. Toward noon, stocks cut losses thanks to buybacks induced by Chinese shares' resilience. But trading turned lackluster in the afternoon due to a dearth of fresh incentives.
The death toll in mainland China rose to 908 as of Sunday, the National Health Commission (NHC) said on Monday. Beijing will continue to shore up economic growth with policy support, including with infrastructure spending, to cushion the pressure from the coronavirus outbreak.
Blue chips were mostly weaker.
HSBC (00005) rose 0.5% to HK$58.1. HKEX (00388) dipped 0.8% to HK$268.4. Tencent (00700) slipped 0.4% to HK$400.6. China Mobile (00941) shed 0.7% to HK$66.85. AIA Group (01299) fell 1.3% to HK$79.15.
New economy counters were dragged down by Meituan Dianping (03690), which plunged 6% to HK$95.8 after HSBC Research lowered its target price by 9% to HK$126. Alibaba Group (09988) slid 1.3%to HK$212.6. China Literature (00772) fell 0.4% to HK$35.15. NetDragon Websoft (00777) declined by 1.8% to HK$27.15.
Hotpot stocks led declines among restaurant operators amid coronavirus fears. Shares of Haidilao dropped 4.06% while Xiabuxiabu Catering Management plunged 6.7%.
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