Shenzhen-Hong Kong trading link gets off to slow start

Reuters

Guests attend the launch of Shenzhen Connect at the Hong Kong Exchanges in Hong Kong, China December 5, 2016.

HONG KONG—The opening of a trading link between the Hong Kong and Shenzhen stock markets met with a muted response from investors.

At the end of the trading day Monday, investors based outside China had piled around 2.71 billion yuan ($ 393.5 million) into the Shenzhen market—home to some of the country’s fastest-growing companies in sectors like technology, pharmaceuticals and consumer goods—while Chinese investors had put 850 million yuan ($ 123.4 million) into Hong Kong stocks. Those totals represent 21% and 8%, respectively, of the daily limits for the link known as Stock Connect.

The Shenzhen Composite Index closed 0.78% lower and Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index HSI, -0.26%   was down 0.26%.

Read: Asian shares drop, as Italian referendum hit bank stocks

The underwhelming activity comes despite a monthslong buildup, as the opening coincided with a number of events that weighed on global markets during Asian trading hours. Italy’s prime minister resigned after losing a key referendum vote, while U.S. President-elect Donald Trump criticized China’s currency and trade policies via Twitter.

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