Hong Kong Stocks Fall As HSBC's Disappointing Earnings Drag

Hong Kong stocks declined Tuesday morning after six straight session of gains, as the Hang Seng Index's top-weighted component HSBC Holdings PLC posted disappointing earnings. The benchmark index fell 0.5%, with HSBC tumbling 3.5% after the Sino-British banking giant recorded a 17% fall in its pre-tax profit for last year, worse than market estimates. Local lender Hang Seng Bank Ltd. -- in which HSBC holds a majority stake -- also declined 2% after posting a 43% slide in its 2014 net profit. Likewise, London-based lender Standard Chartered PLC dropped 3.6%. However, telecoms giant China Mobile Ltd. helped provide support for the market, advancing 1.2%, after reports said the mobile carrier's data traffic surged nearly threefold on Lunar New Year's Eve as an increasing number of people extended their New Year greetings through mobile social apps. Chinese online major Tencent Holdings Ltd. also edged up 0.2% after the company said its WeChat mobile-payment platform saw about 500 million yuan ($80 million) of "hongbao" money (traditional cash gifts given in red envelopes) distributed on Lunar New Year's Eve. Among other movers, Macau gaming stocks retreated broadly after visitors during the first three days of Chinese New Year rose only 3.4% year-on-year, decelerating from a 37% jump in the previous year. Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd. shed 1.8%, Wynn Macau Ltd. lost 1.1%, MGM China Holdings Ltd. gave up 0.8%, and both Sands China Ltd. and SJM Holdings Ltd. fell 1% each.

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