The Hong Kong stock market finished higher for fourth straight session on Thursday, 04 June 2020, as investors’ sentiments was lifted by tracking a positive lead from Wall Street overnight and signs the world is on course for economic recovery after being hammered for months by the coronavirus pandemic. However, market gains were capped on caution over any protests in the city on the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown and the Legislative Council scheduled vote on Thursday evening on a proposal to criminalise mocking the Chinese national anthem.
At closing bell, the benchmark Hang Seng Index advanced 0.17%, or 40.68 points, to 24,366.30. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index was marginal 0.00%, or 0.40 point, up at 9,967.93.
Trading got off to a bright start, tracking gains made on Wall Street overnight following data showing that U. S. private payrolls in May dropped less than median market forecasts, underscoring hopes for more global economic activity as more businesses worldwide, shut due to the pandemic, reopen.
Traders said sentiment was somewhat dampened after the U. S. government barred Chinese passenger carriers from flying to the United States and planned to designate at least four additional state-run Chinese media outlets as foreign embassies.
Investors were also keeping an eye on any protests in the city on the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown and the Legislative Council scheduled vote on Thursday evening on a proposal to criminalise mocking the Chinese national anthem.
Hong Kong’s Legislative Council passed a controversial Bill on Thursday (Jun 4) that would make disrespecting China’s national anthem a criminal offence.
Lawmakers approved the Bill with 41 in favour and one against, but the chamber’s pro-democracy faction refused to cast their votes and instead shouted slogans denouncing the law. The Bill will govern the use and playing of the Chinese national anthem. This includes provisions that threaten to punish those who insult the anthem with up to three years jail and with fines of up to HK$50,000 (US$6,450). The Bill states that “all individuals and organisations” should respect and dignify the national anthem and play it and sing it on “appropriate occasions”.
Casino stocks were in demand. Sands China shot up 4.9 per cent, while Galaxy Entertainment added 2.4 per cent. Wuling Motors, which announced a new truck earlier this week, surged about 64 per cent, hitting a 52-week high.
Aviation stocks fell after China’s civil aviation regulator granted foreign airlines more access to routes to China and the US said it would stop Chinese airlines from flying to the US starting June 16.
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