April 6 Hong Kong stocks fell on Thursday in
sympathy with Asia markets, as investors fretted about signs the
Federal Reserve could scale back its massive stimulus this year
amid frayed nerves ahead of a looming meeting between the U.S.
and Chinese presidents.
The benchmark Hang Seng index dropped 0.5 percent at
the close, to 24,273.72 points, while the Hong Kong China
Enterprises Index lost 0.9 percent, to 10,276.41 points.
Analysts say risk appetites shrank on news that most Fed
policymakers think the central bank should take steps to begin
trimming its king-sized balance sheet later this year as long as
U.S. economic data holds up.
Much of the attention was on President Donald Trump's first
face-to-face meeting with China President Xi Jinping, with trade
and security issues set to figure prominently.
"As long as they don't have huge conflict, the meeting won't
have much impact," said Alex Wong, Hong Kong-based director of
Ample Finance Group.
Wong also brushed aside the latest economic indicators about
China. Activity in the service sector expanded at its weakest
pace in six months in March, hurt by slower growth in new orders
and intensifying cost pressures, a private survey showed.
"Investors are generally optimistic towards mainland's
consumption and real estate sectors," he said.
Most sectors in Hong Kong retreated on Thursday, with losses
led by telecommunication stocks. A relevant sub-index
contracted about 1.3 percent at the close.
(Reporting by Jackie Cai and John Ruwitch; Editing by Shri