Hong Kong Stocks Wildest Since 2016 as White House Upstages NPC
(Bloomberg) -- For Hong Kong stock traders, the real drama this week is in Washington, not Beijing.
The Hang Seng Index retreated 1 percent on Wednesday as the departure of Gary Cohn from the Trump administration sent U.S. stock futures slumping. Hong Kong’s market has already been buffeted by concerns over a possible trade war, with the gauge rebounding 2.1 percent yesterday after sinking 2.3 percent on Monday. The last time the measure had back-to-back moves of more than 2 percent was in January 2016.
The risk of a global trade conflict breaking out has coincided with the annual National People’s Congress -- a carefully stage-managed gathering where this year lawmakers will repeal presidential term limits preventing Xi Jinping from indefinite rule. Moves in mainland Chinese markets are typically muted during the meetings as policy makers seek to avoid volatility marring the event. This week has shown how Hong Kong’s markets -- despite being dominated by Chinese companies -- continue to be subject to global shifts in sentiment.
Energy stocks and insurers led losses in Hong Kong. A gauge of 50-day volatility on the Hang Seng Index climbed to its highest level since April 2016.
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