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Hong Kong quietly flips into world's best place for equity bulls

Nov 28 2018 09:29
Sofia Horta e Costa, Bloomberg

Hong Kong’s equity market has staged quite the rebound this month, laboring along slowly to become the world’s star performer.

Resilient to caution in China’s markets and a tech rout that’s slammed shares in the US, the Hang Seng Index is headed for a 6.5% gain in November, beating every other major stock benchmark and surging ahead of the MSCI All-Country World Index by the widest margin since April 2015. Its month-to-month recovery is set to be the largest in more than seven years, following a 10% rout in October.

While the gains follow Hong Kong stocks’ worst losing streak in 36 years, it stands out against shares in China and in the US, two markets which have wielded significant influence on sentiment in the city this year. Improving momentum for Tencent Holdings has also helped, contributing to more than a fifth of all gains for the index. The Internet giant is on course for its best showing versus Apple on record.

Strategists are getting less bearish on Hong Kong stocks, with many predicting at least muted gains for next year. The Hang Seng Index has held above a key technical level since on Monday, another sign that bulls may be taking back control after what’s been a painful year. JPMorgan was less optimistic, saying the city’s stocks will be among Asia’s worst in 2019.

The Hang Seng Index climbed 1% as of 14:10 on Wednesday, the second-best performer among major global equity indexes. Technology companies led the advance, with Sunny Optical Technology Group, Tencent and AAC Technologies Holdings all climbing at least 2.5%.

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