The rally in Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index continued unabated Tuesday, with the stock benchmark approaching highs not seen since in more than two years.
In morning trading the index breached 27,800 points, led by gains in social media titan Tencent (700.HK) and Geely Automobile (175.HK), up more than 2% and 6%, respectively. The benchmark is now at its highest level since May 2015. For those who don’t recall, that was amid a furious bull market for mainland-listed Chinese stocks. Shares listed in Shanghai at that time ran up more than 150%, but by February 2016 they had crashed by around 50%.
The latest gains in the Hang Seng Index came despite disappointing July trade data out of China. In U.S. dollar terns exports rose by 7.2% year-on-year during the month, compared to estimates of 11% growth. The Hang Seng Index has broad exposure to China-based companies, including state-owned banks and energy names.
Th 26% return this year makes the Hong Kong stock index one of the world’s top performing benchmarks in 2017. The U.S. S&P 500 Index is up just 11%. However, the vast majority of gains in the 50-name Hong Kong gauge have been driven by just three stocks: Tencent, banking giant HSBC (5.HK) and life insurer AIA Group (1299.HK).