HONG KONG: Hong Kong shares had their heaviest loss in a month on Monday, ahead of a one-day holiday, roiled by a subpar reading in a private survey on mainland factory activity and fears of a US government shutdown.
The Hang Seng Index finished down 1.5 percent at 22,859.9 points, trimming quarterly gains to 9.9 percent – its biggest in 1-1/2 years. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong sank 1.7 percent on Monday, but climbed 10.8 percent in the third quarter.
Monday’s losses were the biggest since Aug. 28 and pushed both indexes to their lowest levels since early September. Turnover was weak ahead of Tuesday’s holiday for China’s National Day.
China’s official PMI is due on Tuesday. Mainland markets will be shut Oct. 1-7 and resume trading on Oct. 8. Hong Kong markets will reopen on Oct. 2.
On Monday, the final HSBC Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) edged up to 50.2 in September from August 50.1, well below last week’s flash reading of 51.2, with domestic orders proving weaker than preliminary estimates suggested.
Global markets also came under pressure on Monday as a shutdown of the US government seemed increasingly likely. The euro had political troubles of its own as the Italian government teetered on the edge of collapse.