Hong Kong stocks down on Chinese tightening measures. Singapore market also trading lower

<p>The Hang Seng Index fell for the first time in five days as Chinese banks and property developers dragged down the market. The fall came […]</p>

The Hang Seng Index fell for the first time in five days as Chinese banks and property developers dragged down the market. The fall came after the Chinese Central bank raised bank deposit requirements by 0.5%.

The Hang Seng China Enterprises index, which measures the performance of Chinese companies listed in the HK exchange, fell 1.3% compared with Hang Seng’s loss of only 0.27%. Most major Chinese banks, including ICBC, led the fall by losing 1.64% before lunch.

China is about to release  its GDP and CPI data on Thursday. And with the sudden move by the Chinese central bank, there are speculations that the CPI data could be higher than expected, which could trigger more tightening measures.

However, local blue chip stock Hutchison Whampoa (0013.HK) continued its recent strength, gaining 1.76% to reach its 52-week high of 95.20. This stock has been up nearly 19% this year.

In Singapore, the government’s decision to increase property sales tax and second mortgage loan requirements is also hurting the local stock market. The Straits Times Index was trading slightly lower at midday.

Gains amongst industrial and energy sectors were offset by the weakness in consumer goods and telecom sectors. Among individual stocks, HI-P International was in focus today, gaining 8.33% to SGD 1.17 after the company raised its earnings forecast for the fourth quarter last year.

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