Hong Kong stocks waver as market faces unfriendly China economic data amid energy, stagflation risks

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Hong Kong stocks fluctuated as the market reopened with traders confronted by a pending official report signalling a slowdown in China’s economy.

The Hang Seng Index slipped 0.1 per cent to 24,949.66 in early Friday trading, reining in this week’s advance at 0.7 per cent. Local financial markets were shut for two days because of typhoon Kompasu warnings and a public holiday. The Shanghai Composite Index fell less than 0.1 per cent.

PetroChina and China Petroleum & Chemical or Sinopec dropped more than 2 per cent. Most Chinese technology juggernauts gained, with Tencent Holdings and Meituan rising more than 1 per cent.

China’s economy probably grew 5 per cent on an annual basis last quarter, easing from 7.9 per cent in the preceding three months, according to a Bloomberg survey of economists before a government report on Monday. Gross domestic product expanded 18.3 per cent in the first quarter in post-pandemic rebound.

Concerns about regulatory crackdown and a domestic energy crisis have added to stagflation risk after an official report showing producer price inflation accelerated to a 26-year high last month while credit growth decelerated.

Most Asian markets held onto early gains, with Taiwan’s benchmark rising the most in the region amid a rally in Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. The S&P 500 index had its best day since March, buoyed up resilient earnings results and job data.

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