Hong Kong Stocks Seesaw After China Data

MarketWatch Pulse

Hong Kong stocks gyrated between small gains and losses Wednesday morning despite brief support after a preliminary reading of China's manufacturing activity printed at a four-month high. The Hang Seng Index inched down 0.1%, erasing its opening gains. HSBC's "flash" China manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 50.1 in February, up from a final read of 49.7 in the previous month, data showed Wednesday. On the Chinese mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index came off its lows after the data but soon dipped back lower, quoted down 0.3% in its first day of trade after a week-long Lunar New Year holiday. Back in Hong Kong, market movers included Sino-British banking giant HSBC Holdings PLC , recovering 0.9% after a 3.5% slide in the previous session. Among other major index components, Bank of Communications Co. rose 0.5%, and China Mobile Ltd. gained 0.4%. Hong Kong property developers were mostly stronger, but the advance was limited ahead of the unveiling of this year's Hong Kong fiscal budget, due later in the day. Henderson Land Development Co. tacked on 0.8%, Wharf Holdings Ltd. improved by 0.6%, and New World Development Co. moved up 0.3%. Major developer Cheung Kong Holdings Ltd. and conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. , both owned by Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing, were suspended from trading as Cheung Kong held a general meeting of shareholders to vote on its restructuring plan.

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