Hang Seng investors waver on a `crazy' roller-coaster

The roller-coaster which is the Hong Kong stock market plunged and soared yesterday as investors oscillated between moods of extreme pessimism and new found optimism. At one point during the day the blue-chip Hang Seng Index suffered a 525-point loss, taking it to a four-month low. However, by the close, the index had rebounded, gaining almost 310 points on the day - an increase of more than 2 per cent.

One trader described the day's business as "crazy, just crazy". He said that early indications were good as the London Hang Seng Reference Index had risen overnight. However, towards the end of the morning session investors seemed disinclined to believe the good news and started flooding the market with sell orders.

By the end of the day some big institutional buyers, including Hong Kong's most high-profile businessman, Li Ka-shing, were reported to be coming back to the market, snapping up blue chips. Morgan Stanley was also reported to have been active in the market on behalf of some heavyweight clients. The securities house's activity sparked enthusiasm which carried through into the afternoon's trading.

The finance sector, led by HSBC Holdings and its subsidiary the Hang Seng Index, registered the best performance with an overall 3.6 per cent gain.

However, enthusiasm for blue chips was not reflected elsewhere in the market where China associated stocks took a hammering, following on from the pounding they received the day before. The index measuring stocks controlled by Chinese state-run companies fell more than 12 per cent. Meanwhile, the ``red chip'' index tracking the shares of China associated companies fell almost 10 per cent.

The big plunge in these shares led to rumours that China was withdrawing its support from the market. However, the Chinese government quickly rushed out an assurance that it would not take any measures to undermine Hong Kong's economic stability. The improvement in blue chip share prices reverses a five-day sell-off, which followed a period of lacklustre trading in the equity of Hong Kong's leading companies. While this was under way smaller counters and Chinese- related shares saw unprecedented volumes of trading and little price loss.

Yesterday, the all ordinaries index dipped by slightly more than 1 per cent, suggesting that the market as a whole was far from in a state of recovery. This underlines the feeling that a single day's change of sentiment is insufficient to bring the bulls back into the Hong Kong market. "The short-term outlook remains volatile and bearishly based," said a commentary by Nikko Securities yesterday.

The relatively good news from Hong Kong was reflected to a more limited extent in both South Korea and Singapore, where share prices rose modestly. In Bangkok the troubled stock exchange finally stopped falling and registered a 4.4 per cent increase. However, the Thai baht hit a new low against the US Dollar, closing at 34.65. The same fate befell the Philippine peso, which slumped to a record low against the dollar.

Meanwhile the ever-volatile Taiwan market continued to plunge alongside the B share markets in China which are open to foreign participation.

In Malaysia, where both share prices and the local currency registered declines, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed returned to the fray, hitting out at international speculators who have wiped 35 per cent off the value of the Malaysian ringgitt in recent weeks. "We should shoot these people," he said.

Life and Style
healthMovember isn't about a moustache trend, it saves lives
Life and Style
food + drinkFrom Mediterranean Tomato Tart to Raw Caramel Peanut Pie
Arts and Entertainment
Armstrong, left, and Bain's writing credits include Peep Show, Fresh Meat, and The Old Guys
TVThe pair have presented their view of 21st-century foibles in shows such as Peep Show and Fresh Meat
Arts and Entertainment
Keys to success: Andrew and Julian Lloyd Webber
arts + entsMrs Bach had too many kids to write the great man's music, says Julian Lloyd Webber
Arts and Entertainment
Hand out press photograph/film still from the movie Mad Max Fury Road (Downloaded from the Warner Bro's media site/Jasin Boland/© 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
films'You have to try everything and it’s all a process of elimination, but ultimately you find your path'
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Boys to men: there’s nothing wrong with traditional ‘manly’ things, until masculinity is used to exclude people
indybest13 best grooming essentials
Arts and Entertainment
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films

New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site on Friday

Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’

New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch at the premiere of The Imitation Game at the BFI London Film Festival
filmsKeira Knightley tried to miss The Imitation Game premiere to watch Bake Off
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

The benefits of Recruitment at SThree...

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: SThree, International Recruitme...

Trainee Recruitment Consultants

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K: SThree: We consistently strive to be the...

Finance Assistant - Part time - 9 month FTC

£20000 - £23250 Per Annum pro rata: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Pro rata ...

Marketing Manager

£40 - 48k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Manager to join...

Day In a Page

Bryan Adams' heartstopping images of wounded British soldiers to go on show at Somerset House

Bryan Adams' images of wounded soldiers

Taken over the course of four years, Adams' portraits are an astonishing document of the aftermath of war
The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities