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Hong Kong stocks rise, as China stimulus boosts automakers

Hong Kong stocks reversed early losses and ended the day higher on Thursday, helped by a surge in automakers as China unveiled fresh measures to spur car purchases.

** The benchmark Hang Seng Index (.HIS) rose 0.3% at close, having lost as much as 1.8% during the session.

** The Hong Kong China Enterprises Index (.HSCE) was roughly flat.

** Shares of Geely Automobile (GRU) led rise in Chinese automobile makers listed in Hong Kong on Beijing's fresh stimulus.

** The Ministry of Commerce said it would consider extending a tax break for electric vehicles and outlining plans to build more charging stations and encourage lower charging fees.

** Geely and Great Wall Motor (GRVB) both jumped more than 6%, while Wuling Motors (305) and BYD Co (BY6A) also posted solid gains.

** But market sentiment is curbed by concerns over global economic health and inflation.

** A deteriorating inflation situation and concern about lost faith in the Federal Reserve's power to make it better prompted U.S. central bank officials to rally around an outsized interest rate increase and a firm restatement of their intent to get prices under control, minutes of the June 14-15 policy meeting showed.

** Highlighting the negative impact on emerging markets, the region suffered a fourth consecutive month of portfolio outflows in June, notching the longest losing streak in seven years, data from the Institute of International Finance showed.

** Investors are also cautious amid signs of fresh COVID-19 outbreaks in China, which reported 409 new coronavirus cases for July 6, including both symptomatic and asymptomatic cases.

** Consumer (.HSCICD) and industrial stocks (.HSCIIG) rose on Thursday, but tech (.HSTECH) and property shares (.HSNP) fell.

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