Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose after U.S. earnings seasons opened with Alcoa Inc. beating estimates. A gauge of Chinese shares listed in Hong Kong fell as a drop in producer prices underscored weaker demand.
Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd. gained 1.3 percent. HSBC Holdings Plc, a lender that gets 21 percent of its sales in North America, rose 1.3 percent. Yanzhou Coal Mining Co., China’s third-largest producer of the fuel, lost 3.4 percent as producer prices fell 2.7 percent, exceeding economists’ estimates for a 2.6 percent drop. Casino-operator Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd. slid 3.8 percent as Macau’s government said it may require tourists to declare cash at the border.
The benchmark Hang Seng Index rose 0.5 percent to close at 20,683.01 in Hong Kong, with about two companies climbing for each that fell. Volume was 40 percent lower than the 30-day average. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index fell 0.1 percent to 9,051.23 after gaining as much as 0.9 percent.
The consumer price index rose 2.7 percent, the National Bureau of Statistics said, compared with a median estimate of 2.5 percent in a Bloomberg News survey. The government in March said it would aim to keep price gains to about 3.5 percent this year. The decline in factory-gate prices extended its longest streak in a decade amid overcapacity and lower commodity costs.
“The CPI and PPI figures weren’t much of a surprise and the market has reached a consensus that the economy will remain flat going forward,” said Wei Wei, an analyst at West China Securities Co. in Shanghai. “Most of the bad news from the economic front has been priced in and the market is focused on companies’ earnings now.”
The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, also known as the H-share index, closed 26 percent below its Feb. 1 high. A 20 percent drop meets some investors’ definition of a bear market. The measure traded at 1.09 times net assets, near levels not seen since the 2008 global financial crisis.
Shares on the benchmark Hang Seng Index traded at 9.8 times estimated earnings, compared with 14.9 for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and 13 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Resources and energy companies lead declines this year on the Hang Seng Composite Index, the city’s broadest equity measure. The gauge fell 9.4 percent from the end of December, with information technology and utilities the only sectors to gain among 11 industry groups.
Futures on the S&P 500 climbed 0.4 percent after gaining 0.5 percent yesterday. The Federal Reserve’s Ben S. Bernanke speaks tomorrow amid speculation signs of growth will compel the central bank to slow stimulus.
Aluminum-producer Alcoa reported earnings after the close that beat analysts’ expectations on stronger demand from the aerospace sector. Aluminum Corporation of China, known as Chalco, gained 1.3 percent to HK$2.37.
Companies that do business in the U.S. advanced. Li & Fung Ltd., a supplier of toys and clothes to Wal-Mart Stores Inc., added 1.1 percent to HK$11.02. Yue Yuen Industrial Holdings Ltd., a shoemaker that gets 29 percent of its sales in the U.S., rose 1.4 percent to HK$19.78.
Yanzhou Coal Mining slid 3.4 percent to HK$5.19. China Coal Energy Co., the nation’s No. 2 producer of the fuel, declined 3.9 percent to HK$3.95.
Casino-hub Macau is considering a cross-border cash declaration system, though no timeframe, declaration threshold or penalties have been determined, according to the city agency that sets anti-money laundering regulations.
Galaxy Entertainment, a casino operator founded by billionaire Lui Che-Woo, dropped 3.8 percent to HK$35.55. Sands China Ltd. lost 1.1 percent to HK$36.40.
Hang Seng Index futures rose 1.3 percent to 20,750. The HSI Volatility Index dropped 5.7 percent to 23.16, indicating traders expect a swing of 6.6 percent for the equity benchmark in the next 30 days.
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