HONG KONG: Hong Kong shares dipped on Monday, with oil firms and casino operators leading the slide, as investors’ awaited direction from major corporate earnings later the week, marking a weak start to the Year of Goat.
The Hang Seng index eased 0.03 percent to 24,825.02 points by the lunch break, after five straight days of gains. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong slid 0.4 percent to 12,019.83 points.
“It has been a slow start to the (Lunar) New Year with no new funds or catalyst to boost the market as the mainland markets are still on holiday,” said Linus Yip, chief strategist at First Shanghai Securities.
HSBC rose 0.4 percent ahead of its yearly earnings report later in the day. Property group Cheung Kong and conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa are set to report their yearly earnings on Thursday.
Mainland China markets are closed from Feb. 18 through Feb. 24 for the New Year holiday.
Shares of oil related stocks were down on profit taking, with CNOOC Ltd losing 2.6 percent and China Petroleum & Chemical and Petro China both down 1.8 percent. Casino operator Galaxy Entertainment fell 2.5 percent and Sands China lost 1.6 percent.
But shares of Italian luxury fashion house Prada jumped 4.5 percent, heading for their best day in four weeks, after it said it would watch costs after reporting 2014 sales fell 1 percent.