Hong Kong Stocks Edge Downward, As HSBC Slips

MarketWatch Pulse

Chinese stocks inched lower in early Monday trade, tracking a broad downtrend for Asian equities amid jitters over a possible Greek exit from the eurozone after an anti-austerity party won elections there. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was down 0.1% in early moves, despite showing a gain in premarket quotes, while the Shanghai Composite Index was flat. Among the Hong Kong names, the top-weighted Hang Seng Index component HSBC Holdings PLC was down 1.1% after Greece issued early projections for its election showing leftist party Syriza likely to form the next government, raising the possibility of a fresh crisis in the eurozone. Further weakness for crude oil helped push PetroChina Co. down 1.5% and Cnooc Ltd. down 1.1%, while Zijin Mining Group Co. lost 2.3% as gold traded below its Friday levels. On the upside, Tencent Holdings Ltd. gained 1.9%, while Hang Lung Properties Ltd. -- set to report earnings later in the day -- added 0.5%. Outside the Hang Seng Index, Standard Chartered PLC fell 2.7% as the Financial Times said the bank was seeking to replace Chief Executive Peter Sands, but shares of Prada SpA rose 1.2% as HSBC raised its rating on the stock to overweight.

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