Hong Kong stocks retreat as Chinese banks slide
HONG KONG (MarketWatch) -- Hong Kong shares declined after a higher opening on Friday, failing to cheer an interest-rate cut by the People's Bank of China late Thursday, amid a sharp decline for Japanese equities and profit-taking ahead of the weekend, when a slate of Chinese economic data are due. The Hang Seng Index dropped 0.4% to 18,601.20 and the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index lost 0.6% to 9,418.88 after each of them opened higher. Chinese banks declined on concern the PBOC rate cut might hurt their interest-rate margins, with Bank of Communications Co. sinking 3.9% and Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. losing 2%. Mainland Chinese property stocks advanced after the rate hike, however, with China Overseas Land & Investment Ltd. and China Resources Land Ltd. both climbing more than 2%. China's Shanghai Composite added 0.1% in choppy trade after moving in both directions.