Hong Kong markets lower at midday as tech firms retreat and chip stocks pull back – South China Morning Post

Hong Kong stocks were lower by midday on Friday, pushed down by losses in technology stocks, while semiconductor stocks pared back the previous day’s strong gains after a warning of a possible slowdown in the industry this year.

The Hang Seng Index ended the morning session down 0.42 per cent, or 128.90 points, at 30,589.54, snapping two days of gains. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index slid 1.01 per cent, or 123.13 points, to 12,116.71.

A warning from Taiwan Semiconductor, the world’s largest contract chip maker, about soft demand for smartphones and about the possibility of slower global growth in the semiconductor industry this year had sparked a tumble in chip stocks in the US on Thursday, and investors took the cue to sell locally listed chip firms.

Hua Hong Semiconductor slumped 4.07 per cent to HK$18.38 per cent and Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp fell 0.75 per cent to HK$10.64. Both had risen strongly on Thursday after a report that China would back a domestic chip industry.

Among tech firms, internet giant Tencent Holdings fell 0.59 per cent, Sunny Optical Technology lost 2.91 per cent to HK$146.60 and AAC Technology slumped 6.50 per cent to HK$122.30, the biggest blue-chip loser.

Elsewhere, bad debt company China Huarong Asset Management tumbled 8.81 per cent to HK$2.90 when it restarted trading following a suspension after China’s anticorruption watchdog put its chairman, Lai Xiaomin, under investigation.

Among other decliners, China Construction Bank dropped 1.22 per cent to HK$8.08 and Industrial & Commercial Bank of China shed 1.16 per cent to HK$6.81.

Oil stocks also dropped, with Sinopec Corp down 2.08 per cent at HK$7.54 and CNOOC 1.36 per cent lower at HK$13.06.

Online broker FXTM said in a report that WTI crude oil futures risked a falling from a technical standpoint if they were unable to hold above US$68 per barrel. WTI crude dropped 0.12 per cent to US$68.21 in early Friday trading.

Mainland China stocks fell, with the Shanghai Composite Index sliding 1.20 per cent, or 37.37 points, to 3,080.01 and the CSI 300 – which tracks large caps listed in Shanghai and Shenzhen – down 1 per cent, or 38.68 points, to 3,773.16.

The Shenzhen Composite Index eased 1.26 per cent, or 22.85 points, to 1,791.79 and the Nasdaq style ChiNext lost 1.26 per cent, or 23.89 points, to 1,797.65.

Other Asian markets were lower on Friday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.05 per cent to 22,181.09, South Korea’s Kospi eased 0.30 per cent and Australia’s All Ordinaries dropped 0.15 per cent.

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