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Hong Kong stocks fall on first trading day of 2022

Hang Seng index

The Hang Seng index dropped 144.98 points, or 0.62%, to 23,252.69, and the Hang Seng China Enterprises index shed 0.85% to 8,166.54

Hong Kong stocks slipped on their first trading day of 2022, after marking the worst performance by any major global market the previous year, as fresh fears about the health of China’s property market weighed on investor sentiment.

The Hang Seng index dropped 144.98 points, or 0.62%, to 23,252.69 by the midday break on Monday. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index shed 0.85% to 8,166.54.

The Hong Kong benchmark lost 14.1% last year, its worst yearly performance since 2011 and the worst performing major global market in 2021, hit by declines in Chinese tech giants as well as fears about the health of China’s property sector.

Mainland Chinese markets were closed for a holiday, and Hong Kong trading volumes were thin. About 322.68 million Hang Seng index shares were traded, roughly 20% of the market’s 30-day moving average.

The weak trend of Hong Kong stock market on the first trading day in 2022 is related to the continued unfavourable news in the mainland property industry, said Kenny Ng a securities strategist at Everbright Sun Hung Kai Securities.

China Evergrande Group shares were suspended from trading on Monday pending the release of ‘inside information’, the embattled property developer said without elaborating.

A city government in the Chinese resort island of Hainan has ordered Evergrande to demolish its 39 residential buildings within 10 days, due to illegal construction, local media reported over the weekend.

A sub-index tracking mainland property stocks shed 3.76%, and was testing a four-and-a-half-year low.

Tech giants lost 0.98%.

The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares gained 0.8%, while the IT sector lost 1.15%, the financial sector was 0.29% higher and the property sector declined 1.15%.

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