Hong Kong Stocks Slip Further As Tencent Drops

MarketWatch Pulse

Hong Kong stocks edged lower Thursday morning, extending previous weakness as index heavyweight Tencent Holdings Ltd. took a solid loss on reports that its weighting in the benchmark might be reduced next week. The Hang Seng Index was down 0.3%, with Tencent off 2.2%. The Hang Seng Indexes Co. -- a unit of Hang Seng Bank Ltd. -- is scheduled to change the main index's component weightings after Friday's stock close, with reports saying that Tencent and several other blue chips might see a smaller presence in the wake of plans to merge index components Cheung Kong Holdings Ltd. and Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. (Hutchison Whampoa shares were down 1.1%, and those of sister company Cheung Kong dropped 0.9%.) Mainland Chinese banks mostly rose, however, as reports said the People's Bank of China had pumped another 160 billion yuan ($26 billion) into the banking system, leading to a net weekly injection of more than 200 billion yuan, the highest in over a year. China Construction Bank Corp. advanced 0.5%, Bank of Communications Co. and Agricultural Bank of China Ltd. rose 0.3% each, and Bank of China Ltd. added 0.2%, while China Minsheng Banking Corp. lost 0.4%, China Merchants Bank Co. retreated 0.3%, and Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. slipped 0.2%. Among Hong Kong's local lenders, Bank of East Asia Ltd. dipped 0.2% ahead of the release of its results due later in the day. Rivals Hang Seng Bank and BOC Hong Kong Holdings Ltd. [HK:2388] also pulled back 0.2% apiece. However, London-based banking majors HSBC Holdings PLC and Standard Chartered PLC edged up 0.4% and 0.1%, respectively, after heavy losses the previous day. Over on the Chinese mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index gave up 0.5%.

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