Shares in Hong Kong fell on Monday morning as investors dumped risky assets, in particular emerging market equities, with the cautious sentiment of the past two weeks mounting amid social unrest in Egypt.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was down 1.1 percent by the midday trading break, extending losses since mid-January that have nearly wiped out the gains it saw at the beginning of the year.
The decline came in thin volume, suggesting that this was a paring of risky positions ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday rather than a selloff. Turnover by midday was less than HK$38 billion.
Asian markets were lower as oil prices rose on fears that unrest in Egypt could spread throughout the Middle East.
Bucking the broader weaker trend, oil majors rose as crude oil prices climbed, China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (Sinopec) rose 3.1 percent and PetroChina Co Ltd gained 1 percent.
A trader at a large European bank in Hong Kong said momentum players, those that base trades on market trends, were chasing a rotation out of CNOOC Ltd and into Sinopec, which rose in heavy volume.
QE Index Up 0.54% in the Early Trade
The QE Index added 48.41 points during the first couple of hours trading on Wednesday 22nd May 2013. The index adding 0.54 percent reached at 9,085.36.
QE sectors indices turned green. T
DFM Index Advances in the Early Trade
The DFM General Index advanced to reach at 2,338.18 levels during the first couple of hours trading on Wednesday 22nd May 2013, adding 18.83 points or 0.81 percent.
ADX Index Turns Green during the Early Trade
The ADX General Index turned slightly green during the early trade on Wednesday 22nd May 2013. The index hovering between north and south reached at 3,512.82 leves, up 0.09 percent or 3.18 points.