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Hong Kong shares pull back from record high

Hong Kong shares pull back from record high

Hong Kong shares edged down from their record high Friday on profit-taking in Chinese banks, closing the year 34 percent higher than last year.
The blue-chip Hang Seng Index fell 31.03 points, or 0.2 percent, to 19,970.88. For 2006, the index has risen 5,094.00 points, after hitting its intraday record high 20,038.00 Thursday.
"(The market) is likely go even higher next year... The China growth story and (possible) yuan appreciation are enough to support the market solidly," said Kitty Chan, a director at CASH Asset Management.
Part of the index increase was due to the inclusion of China-registered companies, such as China Construction Bank and Sinopec, into the Hang Seng Index since September.
Traders expect China-related stocks to continue leading the market even higher next year, provided that liquidity stays in Hong Kong, China's economy continues its rapid expansion and hopes for a fresh round of yuan appreciation don't die down.
The biggest blue-chip gainer of this year was Hong Kong Exchange & Clearing, which rose 1.7 times on-year to close at HK$85.50. A slew of gigantic initial public offerings and heavy trading in cash and derivative markets have buoyed the stock.
The first runner-up is handset maker Foxconn, which has more than doubled to HK$25.60 from HK$12.65 at the end of last year.
Cheung Kong Infrastructure and HK Electric, both owned by Hong Kong's richest man Li Ka-shing, were the worst performers. CKI lost 1 percent over the year and closed at HK$24.15, while HK Electric was off 0.8 percent to HK$38.10.
Chinese banks and insurers have been outperforming the broader market, even though many of them were listed in Hong Kong for less than a year. Investor interest have been immense amid hopes of yuan appreciation, a lower corporate tax rate and the strong economy-driven demand for financial services.
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China ended 1.8 percent at HK$4.83 Friday. The stock has risen 38 percent since its huge debut late October.
China Construction Bank was up 83 percent year-to-date at HK$4.95. China Life closed at HK$26.55, nearly three times higher than year-earlier level.
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On the Net:
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Updated : 2021-03-07 08:10 GMT+08:00