(Bloomberg) -- Hong Kong equities are rapidly turning into a losing bet amid a torrent of negative news.
The MSCI Hong Kong Index slumped 1.8% on Friday, taking declines since its eight-day losing streak started to 7.2%. That would be its longest string of declines since 2014. Landlords, property developers and casinos have borne the brunt of the selling, with CK Asset Holdings Ltd. tumbling to its lowest level since January and Wynn Macau Ltd. losing 12% this week alone.
The economy, already buckling under the pressure of the U.S.-China trade war, faces additional strain as increasingly violent street protests damp spending. Just this week alone, data showed the economy contracted more than expected last quarter, with retail sales plunging 6.7% in June from a year earlier.
A tropical storm, which shut the city on Wednesday, won’t have helped stores’ bottom lines, while the People’s Liberation Army added to political tensions by releasing a video showing troops battling mock protesters.
The imposition of new tariffs on Chinese goods by President Donald Trump will likely only worsen the outlook for the former British colony. Even before that move, embattled Chief Executive Carrie Lam said this week that she saw “no room for optimism” for the city’s economy this year as the trade war weighed on growth.
Louis Tse, a Hong Kong-based managing director at VC Asset Management Ltd., said the near-term outlook for the stock market depends on whether the benchmark Hang Seng Index (which includes shares of Chinese companies) stays above its June low of around 26,762. The gauge closed down 2.4% at 26,918 on Friday.
"If we closed below this level, I think quite a few investors would sell, including us. That’s the last straw. If that level can’t provide a support, I think Hang Seng would go down further -- much further. I can’t see where the bottom is."
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