Hong Kong market falls; another bid for AXA keeps Australian market busy

<p>The Hong Kong Market extended its fall for a second day, led by banks and property developers after a report showed China’s biggest lenders have […]</p>

The Hong Kong Market extended its fall for a second day, led by banks and property developers after a report showed China’s biggest lenders have stopped new loans to real estate companies for the remainder of the year.

All four major Chinese mainland banks weakened today.  ICBC led the fall losing over 2% in the early trading session. Property developers China Overseas Land and Investment Company (0688.HK) and China Resource Land (1109.HK) lost 2.6% and 1.6% respectively by the first half closing.

Singapore Strait Times Index dropped more than 0.5% in the first trading session as continuing profit taking activity weighed down the market. Most of commodity suppliers weakened on Monday, with Olam International and Noble group losing 2.46% and 2.34% respectively.

Comfortdelgro Corp, the largest taxi and bus operator, gained over 2% after the company released its third quarter net profits – up 10% from a year earlier.

News of a renewed deal to for AXA Asia Pacific has buoyed the Australian share market (-5 to 4688) in the face of negative leads from overseas. Market leaders in resources and finance gave up earlier gains, but sharp rises in AXA and AMP helped the Australian market to remain close to square.

The most consistent performers today were the defensive sectors. Consumer staples stocks were solid, held up by retail interests Woolworths and Wesfarmers. Healthcare was strong and consumer discretionary stocks were higher, powered by gains in media shares as the sector heats up on perceptions of leverage to growth.

Energy and resource stocks were lower across the board following falls from highs in oil and gold. Property trusts are also down, reversing recent optimism in the sector.

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