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Saturday, July 20, 2019, 00:54
Cemented Fed rate cut boosts HK stocks
By Dai Kaiyi
Saturday, July 20, 2019, 00:54 By Dai Kaiyi

HONG KONG-Hong Kong stocks were higher at the closing bell on Friday, ending the week on an upbeat note because of firmer expectations of a US interest rate cut and an overnight rise in US stocks.

The city’s benchmark Hang Seng Index climbed 1.07 percent, or 303 points, to close at 28765.40 on Friday.

A speech by New York Fed President John C. Williams on Thursday was read by markets as his making a strong argument in favor of a monetary-policy move, as he said that policymakers should not wait to act for an economic disaster before implementing stimulus measures. The dovish tone of the Fed official largely whetted investors’ appetite for riskier assets, boosting investors’ sentiment in Hong Kong equity market, although the New York Fed told US media that Williams’ remarks were not meant to suggest future Fed policy.

Meanwhile, the three major equity indexes in the US shook off a sluggish start, all ending higher overnight, snapping Wall Street’s two-day losing streak and providing additional fuel for the Hong Kong stocks’ rise.

Due to more A-share inclusions into MSCI indexes an increasing amount of overseas capital has been observed flowing back to the mainland, said Yip, adding that the change began July 11 — when the stock link between Hong Kong and mainland’s bourses in Shanghai and Shenzhen saw more northbound capital, indicating more money is flowing into the mainland through Hong Kong’s Stock Connect program with the mainland.

Meanwhile, the Chinese mainland’s new stock venue designed for technology startups will start trading on Monday next week.

Market’s major concern is whether Shanghai’s Nasdaq-style tech board could serve as an effective fundraising platform for startup businesses, said Linus Yip Sheung-chi, chief strategist at First Shanghai Securities in Hong Kong. Yip added that the sentiment would be further strengthened if its next week’s debut fares well.

MTR Corp, which runs Hong Kong’s mass-transit system, bucked the broad upward trend by falling 2.7 percent to HK$54.2 ($6.94) on Friday. The SAR’s major public transport network issued a rare profit warning yesterday due to the added outlay of its Sha Tin-Central rail link — the city’s most costly rail project — which will partially open in the first quarter of 2020.

Shares of index heavyweight Tencent Holdings rose 1.46 percent by close, finishing at HK$361.8.


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