Hong Kong stocks retreat as developers, Chinese banks fall
Apple suppliers mixed as shipments of iPhone X to start later than expected
HONG KONG (Nikkei Markets) -- Hong Kong shares headed for their first loss in four days as investors shrugged off an extended rally on Wall Street and appeared to lock in recent gains amid caution over equity valuations.
The Hang Seng Index fell 0.3% to 27,889.95 by midday. China Construction Bank (CCB) and Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) slipped 0.9% and 0.7%, respectively, trimming gains recorded over the past month. An index of locally listed real-estate companies fell for a second consecutive day, with Cheung Kong Property Holdings declining 0.6% and Sino Land shedding 1.3%.
While the S&P 500 Index set a fresh all-time high and the yield on 10-year U.S. Treasury bonds reached its highest level in two weeks on Tuesday, local investors appeared to be wary with the Hang Seng Index near the 28,000-point level after a nearly 27% rally so far this year. The Nikkei Asia300 Index of regional equities was down 0.1% by midday.
Among Apple-suppliers listed in the city, acoustic components maker AAC Technologies Holdings rose 1.8%, while casings maker Tongda Group Holdings dropped 2.5% after the U.S. company unveiled its latest iPhone models on Tuesday. Some market participants voiced dissatisfaction over shipment dates for the company's new iPhone X model - Apple's top-of-the-line smartphone with a price tag of at least $999 - which will be available for pre-orders beginning Oct. 27, and in stores on Nov. 3.
Component providers to Apple had rallied over the past month in anticipation of the company's new product launches, with AAC climbing 19% and Tongda gaining 17% during the period.
"We are seeing a bit of profit taking in blue chips," said Louis Tse, a director at VC Brokerage in Hong Kong. "Apple suppliers are a bit disappointed by the selling date being deferred to November" instead of this month as the market expected.
Ping An Insurance Group rose 0.6% on Wednesday after reporting a 35% increase in premium income for its life-insurance business in the first eight months of this year. Its total premium income rose 31.6% during the period.
In mainland trading, the Shanghai Composite slipped 0.1% and the Shenzhen Composite was little changed, while the yuan rose more than 0.1% against the dollar to 6.5233.
China's highest court has placed two units of technology conglomerate LeEco on a blacklist of defaulters owing money to suppliers, saying they are "able to repay the money but refuse to do so," the South China Morning Post reported on Wednesday, citing documents on a Supreme People's Court website. Trading in LeEco's listed arm Leshi Internet Information & Technology has been halted in Shenzhen since April.
China Resources Land fell 1.2%, trimming year-to-date gains to 41%. The developer late Tuesday said contracted sales for August nearly doubled from a year earlier.
China Resources Power Holdings lost 1%. The utility said total net generation from its power plants rose 7% in August from a year earlier.
Sunac China Holdings added 0.5% to HK$27.90, on course for a record closing high, following a price target upgrade from Nomura. The brokerage house raised Sunac's target price to HK$32, citing an abundant land bank and surging earnings.
Country Garden Holdings fell 0.5%. The developer has bought a 60% stake in a Hong Kong residential site at Ma On Shan for HK$2.44 billion ($312.3 million), the South China Morning Post reported.
Liquid crystal display-product maker Truly International Holdings jumped 9.1% to HK$2.53 after saying it plans to sell 160 million shares to at least six buyers at HK$2.02 apiece. Separately, the company will issue 53.3 million shares at the same price.
-- Suzannah Benjamin and V. Phani Kumar