Chinese Stocks Drop After Weeklong Holiday; Macau Casinos Tumble

Chinese shares fell, led by financial and consumer companies, as mainland markets reopened following a weeklong holiday. Casino stocks plunged in Hong Kong on speculation revenue will decline more than expected this month.

The Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.6 percent to 3,229.84 at 10:14 a.m., erasing its gain for the year. China will hold its National People’s Congress in the first two weeks of March, when the government sets its growth target for the year.

The CSI 300 Index slumped 1 percent, while both the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index and the Hang Seng Index retreated less than 0.1 percent.

Gains in so-called A shares have sent the Shanghai Composite’s valuation to a three-year high even as slower economic growth threatens to curb corporate profits and regulators take steps to cool the growth of stock purchases using borrowed money.

Source : Bloomberg

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Hong Kong shares rebound as casinos gain, but shed over 2 pct on week

Hong Kong shares snapped a four-day losing streak on Friday as profit-taking pressure eased, but ended lower on the week despite the highly-touted launch of a landmark link between the Hong Kong and Shanghai exchanges.

The Hang Seng Index unofficially closed up 0.4 percent at 23,437.12 points. The Hong Kong China Enterprises Index ended up 0.7 percent at 10,447.18 points.

For the week, however, the indexes dropped 2.7 percent and 2.9 percent, respectively, with the Hang Seng posting its largest weekly percentage loss since early October.

Monday’s launch of the “stock connect” had been expected to boost share values and volumes on both bourses, but many investors took advantage of the sharp run-up in prices ahead of the debut to take profits instead.

Mainland China investors’ interest in Hong Kong stocks remained weak. They took up less than 2 percent of the daily 10.5 billion yuan ($ 1.72 billion) “southbound” quota.

Casinos were among the top gainers on Friday, along with oil companies as Brent crude futures edged higher and tried to break an eight-week slide.

Source : Reuters

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