Business / Markets

HK stocks end almost flat - Dec 31

(Xinhua) Updated: 2012-12-31 17:28

HONG KONG - Hong Kong stocks fell 0.04 percent on Monday, the last trading day of 2012. The benchmark Hang Seng index closed down 9.67 points to end at 22,656.92 points, after trading between 22,698.33 and 22,566.89. Turnover totaled HK$28.79 billion ($3.71 billion).

The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index rose 57.92 points, or 0. 51 percent, to close at 11,436.16.

Two sub-indices gained ground, with both the Utility and the Properties rising 0.18 percent. The Finance lowered 0.11 percent while the Commerce and Industry dropped 0.05 percent.

China Life rallied 3.1 percent to HK$25.3, becoming the best-performing blue chip of the day; COSCO Pacific was the worst- performing blue chip of the day, with its shares dipped 2.13 percent to HK$11.04.

For the whole year of 2012, the benchmark Hang Seng Index gained around 23 percent, a remarkable achievement compared with 2011.

Hong Kong stocks had a well-performiing start of the year as the Hang Seng Index rose to as high as 21,760 points. Yet European debt crisis and the slowing down of Chinese economy has dragged the index back to 18,056 points in June.

The Index gained its momentum in the second half of the year when the United States and Japan introduced monetary easing policies. China's economy remain on track for recovery also put strength to the Index when it reached the year-high of 22,718 points in December.

Among 50 Hong Seng Index constituents, property stocks were the biggest winner of the year. Out of top-10 big gainers, six belongs to property sector. New World Development, China Overseas and Wharf Holdings were the three best-performing blue chips of the year.

China Unicom was the worst-performing blue chip of the year, with its shares shrank more than 20 percent.

Ye Shanghai, a chief analyst at Hong Kong First Shanghai Securities, told Xinhua that Hong Kong stocks will continue to gain in 2013 when the benchmark index could rise to 25,000 points at the most optimistic estimation. With the help of urbanization in China, sectors such as property and infrastructure will enjoy the gain first.

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