Hong Kong stocks fall after Lunar New Year break, H-shares down

HONG KONG: Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng index fell on Tuesday, when the city's markets reopened following the Lunar New Year holiday, with HSBC leading the slide after reporting a pretax profit below forecasts.

China's H-shares index also dropped. At close of trade, the Hang Seng index was down 241.80 points or 0.78 percent at 30,873.63. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index fell 1.11 percent to 12,396.87.

The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares dipped 0.7 percent while the IT sector rose 0.16 percent, the financial sector was 1.63 percent lower and the property sector dipped 0.21 percent. The top gainer on Hang Seng was Sunny Optical Technology Group Co Ltd up 2.58 percent, while the biggest loser was HSBC Holdings, which was down 3.11 percent.The Hong Kong shares of HSBC tumbled after Europe's biggest lender by market capitalisation reported an increase in annual pre-tax profit that missed expectations, and it unveiled a plan to raise up to $7 billion over the next four months to bolster its capital base.

Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.43 percent and Japan's Nikkei index closed down 1.01 percent .The top gainers among H-shares were Guangzhou Automobile Group Co Ltd up 3.79 percent, followed by Zhuzhou CRRC Times Electric Co Ltd by 1.78 percent and Anhui Conch Cement up by 1.67 percent. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were China Merchants Bank Co Ltd, down 2.91 percent, CITIC Securities Co Ltd down by 2.07 percent, and Bank of China which fell 2.05 percent. About 2.10 billion Hang Seng index shares were traded, roughly 67.6 percent of the market's 30-day moving average of 3.10 billion shares a day. The short and one-factor leveraged Hang Seng index, which is designed to replicate the payoff of a short or leveraged portfolio and is linked to the movements of the Hang Seng Index, was higher by 0.78 percent on the day at 4,749.86 points.