Hang Seng Index dips on US inflation concerns, corporate losses

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Hang Seng Index dips on US inflation concerns, corporate losses
Credit: © Reuters.

In response to heightened worries about persistent US inflation and the potential for continued Federal Reserve rate hikes, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index experienced a decline. On Thursday, amid broader economic concerns, New World Development's share price fell sharply by 5.1% following their announcement of a $600 million bond buyback plan. This contributed to the Hang Seng's descent to 17,633.93, marking a 0.4% drop.

Other notable companies also faced downturns; Alibaba (NYSE: BABA ) and Meituan saw their shares fall, while Zijin Mining's stock was affected by a dip in gold prices. Despite these losses, there were pockets of resilience within the market. The Hang Seng Tech Index managed a slight increase of 0.3%, and Chow Tai Fook Jewellery's shares edged up by 0.7% to HK$11.88 in anticipation of a robust interim earnings report.

The mixed market reactions reflect ongoing concerns over the global economic outlook, particularly as consumer price expectations suggest that inflationary pressures might persist into the next year. In contrast to the declines in Hong Kong, other Asian markets had varied performances; South Korea's Kospi rose by 0.3%, while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dropped by 0.4%. Japan's financial market was closed for a holiday.

Despite Thursday's setback, the Hang Seng Index has shown signs of improvement this month with an almost 4% increase overall, buoyed by easing geopolitical tensions between the US and China and a stronger Chinese yuan that recently hit a four-month high.

Investor sentiment in different sectors also demonstrated variability. Baidu (NASDAQ: BIDU )'s stock received a boost after an optimistic assessment from Nomura Holdings (NYSE: NMR ), whereas Zhejiang Kunbo Precision Technology had a remarkable trading debut in Beijing with its shares soaring by 295%, indicating strong investor interest in the machinery sector despite market fluctuations.

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