Bloomberg News

Hong Kong Stocks Rise as Europe Said to Consider Crisis Package

October 21, 2011

Oct. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Hong Kong stocks rose after a report Europe’s leaders are considering a $1.3 trillion package to fight the region’s debt crisis ahead of a summit this weekend.

Cosco Pacific Ltd., which operates container facilities at Greece’s Piraeus port, added 2.9 percent. Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd. gained 2.3 percent after saying it will buy coking coal from Mongolia over the next three years. PetroChina Co. lost 0.5 percent after the Xinhua News Agency said the largest Chinese oil producer may lose more than $7.8 billion due to a rising resources tax.

The Hang Seng Index swung between gains and losses at least 15 times before closing 0.2 percent higher at 18,025.72. The gauge completed its biggest weekly loss in a month after China reported its slowest economic growth since 2009 and German officials said before a summit on Oct. 23 there won’t be a quick fix to Europe’s crisis.

“Looks like European leaders are making progress, but there’s still a long way to go and the market remains very vulnerable,” said Stephen Halmarick, Sydney-based head of investment markets research at Colonial First State Global Asset Management, which oversees about $150 billion. “There’s a lot of information and a lot of uncertainty whether this weekend’s meeting will come out with a definitive plan, or there’s more to come after that.”

Mainland Companies Slip

The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of mainland companies listed in Hong Kong advanced 0.3 percent to 9,219.73 today. The Hang Seng Index has tumbled 22 percent this year amid concern a U.S. recovery is stalling, and as Europe’s leaders grope for ways to maximize the firepower of a European Financial Stability Facility as the debt crisis threatens Italy and Spain.

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained 0.2 percent today. The index rose 0.5 percent yesterday in New York amid speculation Europe may combine temporary and permanent rescue funds to make as much as 940 billion euros ($1.3 trillion) available to fight the crisis, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Gains were limited on concern European policy makers will struggle to reach a resolution at the Oct. 23 summit. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy said in a joint statement they want agreement on a “comprehensive and ambitious” plan as the European Union prepares for a second summit within three days of this weekend’s meeting.

Cosco Pacific gained 2.9 percent to HK$9.55. Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd., Asia’s largest international carrier, advanced 2.3 percent to HK$13.32. Aluminum Corp. gained 2.3 percent to HK$3.60.

Declining Stocks

Among stocks that fell, China Mobile Ltd., the world’s biggest phone carrier by users, dropped 0.9 percent to HK$74.55. The company yesterday reported third-quarter profit that missed analysts’ estimates. China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd., the mainland’s second-largest mobile carrier, slid 1.9 percent to HK$14.88.

PetroChina slumped 1.1 percent to HK$9.35. Spokesman Mao Zefeng later confirmed the Xinhua report, saying the company’s annual resource tax bill will rise.

Futures on the Hang Seng Index fell 0.6 percent to 17,957. The HSI Volatility Index gained 0.4 percent to 37.97, indicating options traders expect a swing of 11 percent in the Hang Seng Index in the next 30 days.

--Editors: Jason Clenfield, Jim Powell.

To contact the reporters on this story: Shani Raja in Sydney at sraja4@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Gentle at ngentle2@bloomberg.net


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