HONG KONG: Hong Kong shares ended flat Friday, with profit-taking wiping out early gains that came in response to a surge in US jobs in June and a record close on Wall Street.
The benchmark Hang Seng Index edged up 14.92 points to 23,546.36 on turnover of HK$53.55 billion (US$6.91 billion). The US Labor Department said the world's number one economy added 288,000 jobs last month, while the unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent from 6.3 percent in May. The figures beat forecasts of 215,000 and add to the sense that a recovery is well on track. Wall Street topped the week off on a high, with the Dow and S&P 500 hitting a record for the third straight session. The Dow jumped 0.54 percent to end above 17,000 for the first time, while the S&P 500 gained 0.55 percent. The Nasdaq surged 0.63 percent. However, while the market started on a high, investors took their money off the table at the end of a positive week that saw healthy gains. Internet firm Tencent added 0.32 percent to HK$125.1, Bank of China rose 1.41 percent to HK$3.6 and Cathay Pacific Airways slipped 0.68 percent to HK$14.58.
China Mobile was unchanged at HK$76.10, HSBC edged up 0.25 percent to HK$80.40 and Henderson Land Development jumped 1.19 percent to HK$46.95. In China the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.19 percent, or 3.85 points, to 2,059.38 on turnover of 83.6 billion yuan ($13.5 billion). The index rose 1.12 percent for the week.
The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China's second exchange, edged down 0.03 percent, or 0.36 points, to 1,113.55 on turnover of 128.6 billion yuan. It gained 2.44 percent over the week. "Some investors are taking a breather after recent gains," Central China Securities analyst Zhang Gang told Dow Jones Newswires. "They are looking for new cues that can confirm a recovering trend in China's economy." The government will next week release inflation and trade figures for June. Companies connected to a possible free trade zone between China and South Korea were hit by profit-taking. China Dalian International Cooperation Group tumbled 8.12 percent to 6.90 yuan in Shenzhen while Yingkou Port Liability lost 4.89 percent to 2.53 yuan in Shanghai.
Dairy producer Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group bucked the trend, gaining 3.42 percent to 33.30 yuan after state media said one of its units will receive a two billion yuan capital injection. Financial plays were mixed. China Life Insurance rose 0.58 percent to 13.76 yuan, ICBC bank was unchanged at 3.42 yuan and Sinolink Securities dropped 1.77 percent to 19.96 yuan.