Wall Street rebound on tax reforms lifts Hong Kong shares
HONG KONG (Nikkei Markets) -- Hong Kong shares rose as renewed hopes of U.S. tax reforms propped up indexes on Wall Street and boosted risk appetite.
The Hang Seng Index was up 0.1% at 24,075.16 by midday after rising as much as 0.6% earlier. China Petroleum & Chemical (Sinopec) added 0.8% after U.S. crude prices climbed more than 1% in early Asian trading. China Mobile slipped 0.2% after a 3.7% increase in March quarter net profit missed expectations.
Wharf Holdings shed 0.9%. Its loss-making unit i-Cable Communications plunged 13.1% in its first trading session this week after announcing plans to raise HK$704 million ($90.5 million) through a sale of new shares at a 65% discount to its last closing price. Billionaire Peter Woo's Wharf, a subsidiary of Wheelock, last month said it will cut off funding to the troubled pay-television operator. The issue is being underwritten by Forever Top (Asia).
All three U.S. benchmark indexes rose at least 0.8% overnight after the nation's Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the Donald Trump administration plans to reveal tax reforms "very soon." The remarks rekindled investor hopes for the previously-touted tax cuts that had sparked a rally in equities earlier this year. The collapse of a U.S. healthcare bill last month had hurt expectations of the planned tax overhaul seeing the light of day. The Nikkei Asia300 index was up 0.5%.
"Investors are responding to remarks by Mnuchin, which are obviously quite positive. It also comes at the right time for Hong Kong markets, where confidence has been a bit low this week," said Sam Chi-yung, senior strategist at South China Financial Group. "Any sort of progress on the tax reforms will be good, but we need to see some concrete developments for a significant rally."
The Shanghai Composited edged 0.1% higher, adding to Thursday's modest advance. The yuan traded onshore was little changed against the dollar at 6.8799.
Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings edged 0.2% lower. Australia's DUET Group said it had been advised by CKI that the Australian government had approved the Cheung Kong Infrastructure-led consortium's $5.5 billion takeover. Power Asset Holdings, also a part of the consortium, rose 0.1%. DUET shares jumped more than 9% in Sydney.
Agricultural Bank of China (ABC) slipped 0.3% Qatar Holding LLC said it sold 30 million of the lender's H-shares on April 13.
China Overseas Grand Oceans rose 2.1% after reporting a more than 40% increase in operating profit for the March quarter.
Yingde Gases Group fell 0.5%. Late Thursday, it said that Chairman and CEO Sun Zhongguo and Chief Operating Officer Trevor Strutt had resigned. Yingde named PAG managing director Qiu Zhongwei its new chief executive.
GreaterChina Professional Services tumbled 8.5% after Chairman David Yip Chung Wai was arrested by Hong Kong's anti-corruption agency on Thursday. The arrest comes at a time when the company is leading a 130-million pound ($166 million) bid for Hull City football club. GreaterChina Professional said the arrest "has no material adverse impact to the group, and the business and operations of the group remain normal."
Roma Group was down 2.8% by midday after falling as much as 8.3% earlier. The valuation and advisory service firm said Chairman Kelvin Luk had resigned following his arrest by the Independent Commission Against Corruption on Wednesday for his alleged "personal involvement" in a deal with one of the Roma's clients.
-- Nimesh Vora
--Nikkei Markets is a real-time financial news service for South East Asia's markets published by Nikkei NewsRise Asia Pte Ltd, a Nikkei and NewsRise joint venture company. Nikkei Markets provides wide companies coverage in the region, including the Nikkei's Asia300 companies.