Hong Kong Stocks Retreat As PBOC Report Tips Slower Growth

MarketWatch Pulse

Hong Kong stocks headed toward a third straight day of losses Monday morning, tracking U.S. losses at the end of last week and reacting to a research report from China's central bank predicting the country's economic growth could decrease to 7.1% next year on slowing property investment. The Hang Seng Index declined 1.4%. Oil stocks weakened further in tandem with fresh losses for crude futures, as China's largest offshore oil producer Cnooc Ltd. led losses with a 2.6% fall. Asia's largest refiner -- China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., or Sinopec, -- slid 1.7%, Kunlun Energy Co. dropped 1.4%, and China Oilfield Services Ltd. retreated 1.7%. Banks were substantially weaker, with Bank of Communications Co. falling 1.8%, shrugging off news that the state-owned bank planned to issue 80 billion yuan ($13 billion) worth of preferred shares in both domestic and overseas markets. China Merchants Bank Co. gave up 2.5%, and Bank of China Ltd. lost 1.7%. Among index heavyweights, Sino-British banking giant HSBC Holdings PLC lost 1.9%, China Mobile Ltd. retreated 1.7%, and Tencent Holdings Ltd. pulled back 1.1%. Over on the Chinese mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index moved lower by 1.1%.

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