Hong Kong stocks open lower as SMIC’s weaker-than-estimated result spurs concerns about corporate earnings

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Hong Kong stocks fell for a fourth straight day on Friday, putting the benchmark on course for a weekly loss, as earnings from Chinese chip maker Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC) disappointed, adding gloom to the outlook for corporate earnings.

The Hang Seng Index slumped 1.6 per cent to 17,233.72 as of 9.56am local time, taking the week’s loss to 2.4 per cent. The Hang Seng Tech Index dropped 2.5 per cent and the Shanghai Composite Index retreated 0.6 per cent.

SMIC tumbled 3.2 per cent to HK$22.60 after third-quarter revenue and net income both missed analysts’ estimates. Alibaba Group lost 2.6 per cent to HK$80, Tencent dropped 1.3 per cent to HK$302.80 and Meituan retreated 2.7 per cent to HK$111.90. The three tech giants are due to release quarterly results next week.

A raft of weak economic data has already cast a pall over the outlook for corporate earnings. Both consumer and producer prices fell last month, while exports declined by more than estimated and manufacturing unexpectedly contracted. The Hang Seng Index has fallen 11 per cent this year, the worst performance among key benchmarks globally.

Three companies made their trading debuts on Friday. Huashi Group, which provides branding and advertising services, rallied 44 per cent from its IPO price to HK$1.50 in Hong Kong and Folangsi, a provider of logistics equipment leasing, rose 1.8 per cent to HK$14.54. Zhejiang Forward Heating Technologies, a maker of heating exchangers, jumped 127 per cent to 31.60 yuan in Beijing.

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