Hong Kong shares rise as strong earnings offset China slowdown worries


SHANGHAI, Aug 16 (Reuters) – Hong Kong shares rose on Wednesday as investors took heart from strong quarterly earnings despite signs of slowing growth in China.

The Hang Seng index ended up 0.9 percent at 27,409.07 points, while the China Enterprises Index gained 0.7 percent to 10,817.88.

“Many company results have been coming in above expectations, and some sectors in particular, like raw materials, shipping and non-ferrous metals, are seeing a significant improvement over last year,” said Huang Bo, an analyst at Guotai Junan Securities in Hong Kong.

“From this we can see that Hong Kong is still enjoying a clear bull market.”

Hong Kong investors were unperturbed by data showing that China’s new loans in July fell to their lowest in 8 months.

Slowing credit growth lends credence to expectations that China’s economic activity will slow in the second half, though most analysts believe there will be only a gradual cooldown, not a sharp decline.

Shares in Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd ended up 0.9 percent. The airline, which is under strong pressure from state-supported mainland China carriers, had been due to announce first-half earnings at 12 p.m. Hong Kong time (0400 GMT), but had not done so as of the market’s close.

The Hong Kong flag carrier is expected to post one of its worst-ever losses for the six months ended June 30.

Tencent Holdings Ltd’s shares rose 1.4 percent ahead of its second-quarter results later in the day. The market expects a popular mobile game will drive quarterly revenue up by about 50 percent.

Hong Kong-listed shares of Chinese banks continued to build on recent robust gains even as their A-shares performed poorly.

China Construction Bank Corp rose 2.2 percent in Hong Kong, while its Shanghai-listed shares fell 0.7 percent.

The index measuring price differences between dual-listed companies in Shanghai and Hong Kong stood at 127.31.

A value above 100 indicates Shanghai shares are pricing at a premium to shares in the same company trading in Hong Kong, and vice versa. (Reporting by Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Kim Coghill)