Hong Kong Shares Seesaw On Eve Of Stock Connect Launch

MarketWatch Pulse

Hong Kong stocks swung between small gains and losses Friday morning following a four-day winning streak, as investors looked ahead to the launch of the Hong Kong-Shanghai Stock Connect program on Monday. The Hang Seng Index was flat after brief opening losses. With crude prices hitting four-year lows overnight, energy plays fell, as China's biggest oil and gas producer PetroChina Co. slid 2.4%, Asia's largest oil refiner by capacity China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., or Sinopec, declined 1.5%, and offshore oil and gas producer Cnooc Ltd. fell 0.5%. Other energy shares also suffered losses, as China Oilfield Services Ltd. tumbled 2.8%, and national piped gas operator China Oil & Gas Group Ltd. dropped 0.8%. Brokerage firms pulled back after recent gains. Haitong Securities Co. skidded 2.5%, and China Galaxy Securities Co. dropped 2.1%. Among index heavyweights, HSBC Holdings PLC slipped 0.2%, while Tencent Holdings Ltd. edged 0.2% higher. Over on the Chinese mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.6%.

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