Hong Kong Stocks Seesaw Amid Mixed Earnings

MarketWatch Pulse

Hong Kong stocks bounced between small gains and losses Thursday morning, taking cues from weaker U.S. markets and mixed corporate earnings reports. The Hang Seng Index erased opening losses and nudged higher by less than 0.1%, with the mainland-China-tracking Hang Seng China Enterprises off 0.3%. Bank of China Ltd. fell 0.7%, as its nonperforming loans jumped more than 30% last year and its bad-loan ratio rose to 1.18% from 0.96% a year ago, although it posted an 8% increase in profit. Most other mainland Chinese banks also declined, with China Merchants Bank Co. shedding 1%, China Citic Bank Corp. down 0.9%, China Minsheng Banking Corp. off 0.7%, and China Construction Bank Corp. lower by 0.5%. Aluminum producer Aluminum Corporation of China Ltd., also known as Chalco , lost 1.1% after the company said it swung to a loss of 16 billion yuan ($2.6 billion) last year. Other miners also recorded substantial losses, as Jiangxi Copper Co. and Xingye Copper Interntaional Group Ltd. each retreated 1.6%, Zijin Mining Group Co. dropped 1.3%, and in Shanghai, Western Mining Co. traded 0.5% lower. However, leading dairy-product maker China Mengniu Dairy Co. , a component of the Hang Seng Index, surged 6.7% after its earnings climbed more than 40% for last year. Over on the Chinese mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index recovered 0.2%.

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