^HSI - HANG SENG INDEX

HKSE - HKSE Delayed Price. Currency in HKD
26,048.72
-221.32 (-0.84%)
At close: 4:09PM HKT
Stock chart is not supported by your current browser
Previous Close26,270.04
Open26,272.91
Volume0
Day's Range25,977.67 - 26,288.24
52 Week Range24,540.63 - 30,280.12
Avg. Volume1,627,566,938
  • How the market may be disappointed by the Fed at Jackson Hole
    Yahoo Finance Video

    How the market may be disappointed by the Fed at Jackson Hole

    Brown Advisory Portfolio Manager of Head of Fixed Income Tom Graff joins Yahoo Finance's Adam Shapiro and Bruderman Asset Management Chief Market Strategist Oliver Pursche to discuss.

  • U.S. stocks set to trade mixed as focus shifts to Fed symposium in Jackson Hole
    MarketWatch

    U.S. stocks set to trade mixed as focus shifts to Fed symposium in Jackson Hole

    Stock futures drift slightly lower on Thursday as investors shift their focus on the annual Federal Reserve symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyo.,

  • Asian Shares Dip After Japanese Manufacturing Activity Disappoints
    FX Empire

    Asian Shares Dip After Japanese Manufacturing Activity Disappoints

    Traders are blaming a number of factors on the weakness including concerns over U.S.-China trade relations, a potential global recession and political unrest in Hong Kong. Some say weak manufacturing activity in Japan helped turn the intraday trend lower.

  • Hong Kong Faces Worst Earnings Recession Since 2008 Crisis
    Bloomberg

    Hong Kong Faces Worst Earnings Recession Since 2008 Crisis

    (Bloomberg) -- Hong Kong stocks are poised for their worst quarter since 2015 and corporate earnings are unlikely to save them.After a sell-off erased more than $600 billion from the city’s equities, attractive valuations stood as a potential bright spot. But those multiples don’t look so good when analysts keep slashing their profit forecasts for 2019. Their call for an average 19% slump in operating income would be the biggest contraction for Hang Seng Index companies since the global financial crisis, data compiled by Bloomberg show.While a protracted U.S.-China trade war and a weak yuan are to blame for a big chunk of the profit reductions, the latest cuts reveal a deeper issue. With Hong Kong’s slowing economy buckling under the pressure of 11 straight weeks of protests, demand for everything from bank loans to utility gas may be jeopardized.“The third quarter could be even worse given the local political situation and the trade war escalation,” said Jackson Wong, asset management director at Amber Hill Capital Ltd. “Potential downside surprises have not been fully reflected in share prices."Shangri-La Asia Ltd. slumped as much as 7.5% Thursday after saying “political events” in Hong Kong affected one of its flagship hotels in the city, while the weaker yuan hurt revenue in mainland China. Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. also said the protests will have a “significant impact” on revenue from August. The airline, which saw its employees’ participation in the Hong Kong protests draw the ire of Beijing, cited weaker business and leisure traffic into the city.Shares of utility provider Hong Kong and China Gas Co. fell 5.3% Wednesday after it posted disappointing results and said the local business environment is “full of challenges.” Political unrest in Hong Kong may dampen its sales to the hospitality industry as people opt to cook at home rather than dine out, analysts at Daiwa Securities Group Inc. say.The threat from the trade war and weeks of local unrest has been apparent in the property market, as well as hotel occupancy and retail sales. CK Asset Holdings Ltd., whose shares fell to lowest since January 2017 last week, postponed a luxury residential project because of the protests. It spent about $3.3 billion buying British pub owner Greene King Plc.HSBC Holdings Plc and BOC Hong Kong Holdings Ltd. have lost about 9% this month as investors become increasingly concerned about capital flight.A weak yuan is also bad news for the Hang Seng Index: its firms get an average 64% of revenue from the mainland, and 22% from Hong Kong, Morgan Stanley calculates. The currency broke past the key 7 per dollar this month for the first time since 2008, and has traded weaker than that level for more than two weeks.The gloomy profit outlook comes at a critical time for Hong Kong’s equity market. While cheap valuations spurred some dip-buying this week, strategists at Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse Group AG are among those turning more bearish. The Hang Seng Index is still down 13% since its April high, one of the worst returns in the world.“I don’t know when earnings will turn around,” said Amber Hill’s Wong. “For that to happen, we at least need a stable political environment in Hong Kong and an agreement to end the trade war."(Adds Shangri-La Asia earnings in fifth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Kari Lindberg and Matt Turner.To contact the reporter on this story: Jeanny Yu in Hong Kong at jyu107@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sofia Horta e Costa at shortaecosta@bloomberg.net, David WatkinsFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Dow books 240-point gain as bond-market recession signal flashes after Fed minutes
    MarketWatch

    Dow books 240-point gain as bond-market recession signal flashes after Fed minutes

    Stocks finish firmly higher Wednesday after minutes from Federal Reserve’s July 30-31 meeting offer few surprises and suggest that the central bank wants to remain flexible in implementing policy changes.

  • Global Equity Markets: Asia Mixed, Europe Higher as Investor Focus Shifts to Fed Events
    FX Empire

    Global Equity Markets: Asia Mixed, Europe Higher as Investor Focus Shifts to Fed Events

    The major European stock markets are trading higher at the mid-session and Asian shares finished mixed as investors await the release of the minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s July monetary policy meeting. Additionally, there are reports that President Trump may be weighing measures to boost the U.S. economy. Perhaps keeping a lid on the markets are lingering concerns over U.S.-China relations after Trump “reiterated on Tuesday that he was not prepared to make a trade deal with China amid the current standoff, with Chinese communications giant Huawei still firmly in Washington’s cross hairs,” according to CNBC.

  • Financial Times

    US stocks snap 3-day win streak with central banks in focus

    The Nasdaq Composite shed 0.7 per cent. In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 reversed earlier gains to fall 0.7 per cent. Government bonds rallied, sending yields lower. The Federal Reserve is also due on Wednesday to release minutes from its most recent policy meeting.

  • Asian Stocks Riding Wall Street’s Coattails Higher; PBOC Offers Some Relief
    FX Empire

    Asian Stocks Riding Wall Street’s Coattails Higher; PBOC Offers Some Relief

    Basically, the move by the Bit’s another way for companies to get cheaper money, which should be a positive for the economy and China’s stock market. In theory, the MLF rate could follow U.S. rates, which means if the Fed cuts rates, MLF rates will follow lower.

  • S&P 500 closes 1% higher for second straight session on global stimulus talk, trade optimism
    MarketWatch

    S&P 500 closes 1% higher for second straight session on global stimulus talk, trade optimism

    U.S. stocks rise Monday, lifted by moves by encouraging comments from President Donald Trump and other officials on trade talks, along with a move by China over the weekend to lower borrowing costs for companies.

  • Why China’s Pork Giant WH Group Could Rally on Trade War Deal
    Motley Fool

    Why China’s Pork Giant WH Group Could Rally on Trade War Deal

    Hong Kong-listed WH Group could see its shares rally. Here's what investors should know about the world's largest pork producer.

  • Asia Pacific Shares Jump Amid Easing Fears of Global Recession
    FX Empire

    Asia Pacific Shares Jump Amid Easing Fears of Global Recession

    Buyers are responding to a recovery in U.S. Treasury yields, which may be serving as a sign that talk of a U.S. recession may have been overblown.

  • Barrons.com

    What Comes Next in Hong Kong Could Be Scary for Investors

    Investors are worried that Beijing will intervene in Hong Kong. And while China has incentives to exercise restraint, the weeks of mass protests have already weakened confidence in the financial center.

  • TheStreet.com

    Hong Kong Protesters Try to Start a Run on the Banks and the Currency

    After China's airline regulator put pressure on Hong Kong's main airline, pro-democracy protesters have decided to put pressure on the city's banks.

  • Short Sellers Battle Mainland Buyers in Hong Kong's Stock Market
    Bloomberg

    Short Sellers Battle Mainland Buyers in Hong Kong's Stock Market

    (Bloomberg) -- It’s turning into a struggle of wills between bears betting against Hong Kong equities and mainland Chinese investors.Short selling volume on Hong Kong’s main board climbed to 17% of total turnover this week, the highest proportion since at least 1998, based on a five-day moving average. That’s not deterred mainland investors, who were net buyers of Hong Kong stocks via exchange links for the 21st day on Friday.So far bears have been winning. The benchmark Hang Seng Index has tumbled by about 15% from its April high to be among the world’s worst performers, while selling momentum this week was the strongest since China’s currency devaluation four years ago. Mainland buyers are seeing some success though -- the gauge has rebounded 1.8% in the three days through Friday.To be sure, previous surges in the short selling ratio haven’t been a great indicator for future moves. Back in 2016, a spike was followed by an almost 70% rally. But the pessimistic case for Hong Kong shares is easy to sketch.The city is facing one of its worst crises in decades as increasingly violent protests mar its image as a safe and easy place to do business and shop. There is now serious debate about whether Beijing will use military measures to quell the protests after stationing troops in a stadium across the border.Companies are falling foul of the newly politicized environment. Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. shares plunged after being singled out by Chinese entities for not sufficiently punishing employees sympathetic to the demonstrators. The airline, which has since fired staff who’d been suspended in relation to the protests, announced Friday that Chief Executive Officer Rupert Hogg had resigned "to take responsibility as a leader of the company in view of recent events."The trade war with the U.S. is also hurting the local economy, as well as damping demand for Chinese companies listed in Hong Kong. A weak yuan is adding further pressure.Mainland investors have kept the faith, however, purchasing a net $5.8 billion of Hong Kong stocks in the past 21 sessions, the longest run of inflows since February 2018. They bought the most in nearly 18 months on Friday.To contact the reporter on this story: Jeanny Yu in Hong Kong at jyu107@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sofia Horta e Costa at shortaecosta@bloomberg.net, David Watkins, Magdalene FungFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • South China Morning Post

    China's investors are piling into Hong Kong shares via Stock Connect channel in the longest shopping spree in 18 months

    Chinese investors are not abandoning Hong Kong's stocks, even as Asia's third-largest equity market endures a double whammy of social upheaval and jitters about a global recession.Mainland traders have been buying the city's stocks for 21 straight days through Friday via the cross-border investment channel known as the Stock Connect, pouring an aggregate HK$45.3 billion (US$5.8 billion) into equities listing on the Hong Kong stock exchange. That was the longest buying spree since February 2018, when capital poured in for 31 consecutive days.While global fund managers are taking a cautious approach to Hong Kong stocks, with the protest against a controversial extradition bill descending into the city's biggest civic unrest, some Chinese investors are setting their eyes on the lucrative price discrepancy between the two markets.Hong Kong stocks currently trade at a 23 per cent discount to the mainland-traded shares, the biggest for such a price gap in almost one and a half years, according to a gauge compiled by the Hang Seng Bank to track the discrepancy."The low valuation will create entry opportunities for investors," said Gerry Alfonso, director with the international business department at Shenwan Hongyuan Group in Shanghai. "There is a lot of macro noise but valuations in markets such as Hong Kong tend to be the deciding factor in the long run. A lot of the macro noise is already reflected in prices."The Hang Seng Index is valued at 10.3 times earnings, cheaper than the multiple of 13.7 times in the Shanghai Composite Index, according to Bloomberg data. That makes Hong Kong's key benchmark the cheapest among Asia's major markets on a price-to-earnings basis. Out of the 10 industries on the index that its constituents are engaged in, five trade below their book values, the data showed.The discrepancy is particularly stark among the 113 stocks that are listed on both the Hong Kong and China exchanges, with all but two companies " Anhui Conch Cement and Bank of Qingdao " trading at higher prices on the mainland."There's limited room for further downside in the valuation of Hong Kong stocks," said Zhang Yusheng, an analyst at Changjiang Securities.Funds from mainland China have helped Hong Kong's capital market weather the turmoil in the global financial markets. The Hang Seng Index advanced on Thursday, decoupling from declines in major benchmark in the global markets.Still, increased buying now is not a harbinger of a bull market to come. In the previous stretch of buying that ended in February 2018, the Hang Seng dropped 2.9 per cent in the subsequent three months.Hong Kong's US$4.9 trillion stock market is third in Asia after China's US$6.4 trillion market and Japan's at US$5.6 trillion, according to Bloomberg data."Valuations in Hong Kong are cheap with a large size of the earnings coming from the mainland and that should give them some long term stability," said Alfonso with Shenwan. "But that is a trade that requires substantial self-discipline to handle the ups and downs."This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP's Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2019 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved. Copyright (c) 2019. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

  • Financial Times

    Wall Street recovers at end of tumultuous week

    Wall Street recovered some of its lost ground on Friday, but the gains were not enough to prevent US equities from posting their third consecutive weekly decline, underlining investor fears about the precariousness of the global economy. The S&P 500 advanced 1.4 per cent in a broad based rally with industrials, financials and tech leading the way with gains of about 1.9 per cent each. The Nasdaq Composite rose 1.7 per cent. That followed gains in European and Asian markets.

  • Investors Are Worrying About Hong Kong Banks as Protests Roll On
    Bloomberg

    Investors Are Worrying About Hong Kong Banks as Protests Roll On

    (Bloomberg) -- Investors are getting anxious about the impact anti-government demonstrations are having on Hong Kong’s banks.“Things will be going down if people start seeing Hong Kong, which is an international financial center, differently,” said Ronald Wan, CEO of Partners Capital International Ltd. “There will be concern over banks if we see significant capital outflows as they will lose support for business.”It’s not just anti-government demonstrations, now in their 11th week, that are hurting banks in the city: a slowing economy, weaker Chinese currency -- down 2.5% since the end of June -- and the trade dispute with the U.S. create a troublesome mix. And it’s showing in the stock market.HSBC Holdings Plc’s shares have plunged 13% in just three weeks and are near the most oversold since at least 1989, while BOC Hong Kong Holdings Ltd. has dropped 12% this month. Lenders’ losses have weighed on the benchmark Hang Seng Index, which is among the worst-performing major equity gauges in the world this August, though it rose 0.9% Friday.Citigroup Inc. has turned more cautious on Hong Kong banks, saying in a research note last week that the weakening yuan would cause a “drastic” decline in loans to mainland China clients and hurt asset quality. “We see bigger earnings risk to Hong Kong banks,” analysts including Yafei Tian wrote, downgrading the rating on BOC Hong Kong to neutral. They also said there’s 20% to 60% downside in the sector’s earnings per share.Demonstrations in Hong Kong, sparked by opposition to an amendment to the extradition law, show no sign of letting up and have become increasingly disruptive. The city’s airport, one of the busiest in Asia, was brought to a standstill earlier this week as protesters swarmed the terminal, resulting in the cancellation of flights.“Investors don’t want to delve deeply into politics but this is something they don’t want to see,” Wan said.Hong Kong’s Financial Secretary Paul Chan said Thursday that the city’s economy will struggle to expand at all this year, slashing the gross domestic product growth forecast to just 0%-1% from 2%-3% previously. Chan also announced fiscal support measures, with a stimulus package worth more than $2 billion.(Updates prices.)\--With assistance from Jeanny Yu.To contact the reporter on this story: Alfred Liu in Hong Kong at aliu226@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sam Mamudi at smamudi@bloomberg.net, Will Davies, Jun LuoFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Asia Markets Mixed; Focus Remains on Treasury Yields
    FX Empire

    Asia Markets Mixed; Focus Remains on Treasury Yields

    Some investors may have been lulled into believing that recession is imminent and guaranteed, but that’s not the case with this inversion indicator. Research shows the stock market could rally for 15 months after the inversion, and recession may not start until 22 months after the first signal is flashed.

  • Financial Times

    Hong Kong unrest torches fortunes of city’s billionaires

    Hong Kong’s stock market rout has lopped about $15bn off the net worth of its 10 richest tycoons, as clashes between police and protesters that have weighed on asset prices show little sign of letting up. Li Ka-shing, Hong Kong’s richest man, has racked up paper losses of more than $3bn since the end of July, according to Financial Times calculations based on Bloomberg data tracking the billionaires’ disclosed positions in listed companies. , head of Henderson Land, and Lee Man-tat, chairman of the parent company of sauce maker Lee Kum Kee, have seen their fortunes drop almost one-tenth in August.

  • Political unrest in Hong Kong isn't likely to result in capital flight: expert
    Yahoo Finance

    Political unrest in Hong Kong isn't likely to result in capital flight: expert

    Hong Kong’s tumbling equity market is stoking fears for the economy, as well as the stability of the capital markets.

  • Hong Kong Stocks Rise as Bargain Hunters Descend After Rout
    Bloomberg

    Hong Kong Stocks Rise as Bargain Hunters Descend After Rout

    (Bloomberg) -- Stocks in Hong Kong and China rose, contrasting with losses elsewhere in Asia following a global sell-off.The Hang Seng Index closed up 0.8% after falling as much as 1.6%, lifted by property-related stocks. A gauge of Chinese stocks in Hong Kong climbed 0.4%. Both have lost around 16% from their April highs, weighed down by the U.S.-China trade dispute and protests in Hong Kong. The Shanghai Composite Index added 0.3% and the yuan weakened slightly onshore. The small-cap ChiNext index rose 1.2%."The market was seriously distressed after earlier selloffs, so we’re seeing a dead cat bounce right now along with some possible short covering," said Alex Wong, Director of Asset Management at Ample Capital Ltd. The Hang Seng Properties Index gained 3.3%, its biggest increase since January, after weeks of anti-government protests in Hong Kong dragged the gauge to its lowest this year. New World Development Co. saw its biggest gain since 2009.Stocks dropped elsewhere in Asia after the U.S. government bond market sounded alarms over the health of the economy. The 10-year Treasury yield slipped below the rate on two-year bonds for the first time since 2007, in what is considered to be a signal of a U.S. economic recession beginning in next 18 months. Such expectations have been bolstered by signs that global growth is slowing, prompting investors to flee riskier assets.“The market is already is quite weak and this additional risk from the inverted curve would put more pressure on,” said Daniel So, strategist at CMB International Securities Ltd.Tencent Holdings Ltd. was a drag on Hong Kong stocks, falling as much as 4.2% after its quarterly revenue missed expectations. The results triggered several price cuts by analysts, who expect the social media giant’s online advertising business to remain sluggish due to intensifying competition.“Fear of a U.S. recession added to market worries as poor second-quarter economic data in Asia already concerned investors,” said Banny Lam, head of research at CEB International Investment Corp. “Tencent’s earnings miss is also affecting the market.”Hong Kong Roiled by Recession Fears, Market Plunge, Retail SlumpMainland investors continued to pile into Hong Kong stocks via exchange links with Shanghai and Shenzhen as some investors see dip buying opportunities. They pumped money across the border to buy stocks for a 20th day on Thursday, spending $589 million according to data compiled by Bloomberg, extending the longest streak of inflows since February last year.Wharf Real Estate Investment Co., Link Reit and Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd. added at least 4%, among the best performers on the Hang Seng Index. MTR Corp., which develops real estate in Hong Kong and operates the city’s railway network, advanced 4.4%.The Hong Kong dollar jumped as much as 0.17%, as 12-month forward points surged in a sign of tighter liquidity in the market. It pared the advance to 0.1%.To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Amanda Wang in Shanghai at twang234@bloomberg.net;Kari Lindberg in Hong Kong at klindberg13@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sofia Horta e Costa at shortaecosta@bloomberg.net, David Watkins, Will DaviesFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Financial Times

    US 30-year bond yield falls below 2% for first time

    A sharp rally in government bonds set fresh records on Thursday, with the yield on 30-year US government bonds falling below 2 per cent for the first time as investors sought safety amid growing fears over the global economy and renewed trade tensions. Traders have dumped riskier assets such as stocks and crude oil and moved into perceived haven assets including bonds, driven by a growing list of interconnected fears including trade tensions between the US and China and slowing global growth.

  • Weak Bank Shares an Early Drag on Asia Pacific Markets
    FX Empire

    Weak Bank Shares an Early Drag on Asia Pacific Markets

    Early Thursday, the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond dropped to a record low in the morning of Asian trading hours, breaking the 2% level for the first time, according to Reuters.

  • Hong Kong Faces New Threat as Chinese Companies Reconsider IPOs
    Bloomberg

    Hong Kong Faces New Threat as Chinese Companies Reconsider IPOs

    (Bloomberg) -- Several Chinese companies are rethinking fundraising plans in Hong Kong as anti-government protests rock the city, an ominous sign for its future as a financial gateway between Asia’s largest economy and the rest of the world.One company scrapped preliminary preparations for a $500 million initial public offering in Hong Kong partly because of the unrest and will instead pursue a U.S. listing, according to a senior banker on the deal, who asked not to be named discussing private information. Another banker said at least two companies are considering the same move for IPOs worth a combined $1 billion, adding that final decisions will depend on market conditions and whether the turmoil in Hong Kong eases.While the deals represent a small portion of the money raised by Chinese businesses in Hong Kong in recent years, they bode ill for the city’s status as one of the world’s premier financial hubs. Two senior bankers said Chinese clients are worried about more than just this week’s shutdown of Hong Kong’s airport and other logistical headaches caused by the protests; they’re also questioning whether the city will remain a stable place to do business over the long term.“The social and political instability has had an impact on people’s perceptions,” said David Cho, a partner at law firm Dechert LLP based in Hong Kong. “The pipeline isn’t looking strong for the remainder of the year, and things could get even worse if China decides to crack down more forcefully in Hong Kong.”The city’s benchmark Hang Seng Index has tumbled 12% over the past three weeks as clashes between protesters and police turned increasingly violent, raising fears that the Chinese military may intervene to restore order. The S&P 500 Index fell about 5% during the same period.The stakes could hardly be higher for Hong Kong, whose economy is highly dependent on the financial industry. Chinese companies accounted for $9 billion of the $11 billion raised via IPOs in the former British colony this year, as well as about 80% of bond sales in the city, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Outstanding China-related loans by Hong Kong banks totaled more than $560 billion at the end of the first quarter, according to the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.The city faces competition from international hubs like the U.S. and Singapore, as well as financial centers in mainland China. A gradual loosening of restrictions on foreign investment has turned Shanghai and Shenzhen into increasingly feasible options for Chinese firms who want access to overseas funds.Even so, few expect China Inc. to abandon Hong Kong’s financial system en masse. U.S. markets are seen as a more stable, but their appeal to Chinese issuers has also diminished somewhat in recent months as the trade war soured relations between the two countries.One closely watched test of Hong Kong’s appeal is Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s proposed mega-listing in the city. The e-commerce giant has filed a listing application for a share sale that may raise as much as $20 billion, people familiar with the matter said in June, but the company has stayed quiet about its intentions since the protests escalated.Even if the Alibaba deal proceeds as planned, there’s little doubt that Chinese executives have become more wary of Hong Kong. In addition to those rethinking IPOs, several are canceling or postponing meetings with investors in the city to avoid the risk of getting caught up in protest-related violence or travel disruptions, bankers said. Some are using video conferences instead.Hong Kong’s turmoil has affected the financial industry in other ways. BlackRock Inc., the world’s largest asset manager, postponed its Asia Media Forum in the city to February from September, a company spokeswoman said on Wednesday, so that “as many partners as possible” would be able to join.While CLSA Ltd. plans to go ahead with its popular annual forum in Hong Kong next month, the investment bank has hired a private security company for the event and is working on contingency plans that include a livestream in case some delegates are unable or unwilling to attend in person.\--With assistance from Tongjian Dong, Annie Lee, Andy Clarke and Alfred Liu.To contact the reporters on this story: Cathy Chan in Hong Kong at kchan14@bloomberg.net;Manuel Baigorri in Hong Kong at mbaigorri@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sam Mamudi at smamudi@bloomberg.net, Michael PattersonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Stock Turmoil Sparks a Wall Street Hunt for Cheap Hedges
    Bloomberg

    Stock Turmoil Sparks a Wall Street Hunt for Cheap Hedges

    (Bloomberg) -- The bad news for investors who waited this long to buy equity hedges is they’ve become eye-wateringly expensive. The good news is Wall Street thinks there are a few cheap strategies left.A gauge tracking the price of bearish S&P 500 options versus bullish contracts -- or skew -- sits near an all-time high, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Yet even now there are pockets of value for those waking up to risks like a U.S. recession, worsening trade war or Hong Kong unrest.“Cheap protection still exists if you know where to look,” Bank of America Corp. strategists led by Stefano Pascale wrote in a note Tuesday.Finding it takes some rummaging around in the complex underbelly of the options market.Pascale and team point out that while closer-to-the-money S&P 500 options prices have spiked, those further out-of-the-money remain relatively underbid. To capitalize on this “striking” phenomenon, they recommend a so-called put fly. The trade involves purchasing a bearish put option, selling two puts that are further below the current price and buying yet another that’s even further out of the money.The S&P 500 Index slumped 2.9% on Wednesday and the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 800 points. Risk assets were roiled by weak economic data from Germany and China and by recession warnings flashed by the bond market.For those concerned about European stocks, the bank suggests funding protection on the Euro Stoxx 50 with short VStoxx puts. And recent hedging from structured-products issuers has pushed down two-year at-the-money volatility on the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, making long-dated options on the gauge appear relatively cheap, they said.Back in the U.S., S&P 500 skew remains elevated following last week’s sell-off. That’s somewhat unusual, according to Pat Hennessy, head trader at IPS Strategic Capital.“Generally, skew starts weakening after the first leg down as vol sellers roll options down and out and fear abates. Not at all the case right now,” Hennessy tweeted. Among the reasons for it could be portfolio managers holding more equity risk on their books and a relative dearth of put selling, he said.Macro Risk Advisors has also crunched the numbers to find the best places for worried investors to protect against growing turmoil.“U.S. technology, high yield, oil, emerging markets (e.g. broad EM, China, Brazil), EAFE, and FX implied volatility are all trading attractive to U.S. equity implied volatility,” strategist Maxwell Grinacoff wrote in a note Tuesday.Grinacoff suggests buying puts on benchmark emerging-market and oil ETFs, while touting put spreads on the largest Nasdaq-tracking fund, QQQ.(Updates with Wednesday market moves.)To contact the reporter on this story: Joanna Ossinger in Singapore at jossinger@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Christopher Anstey at canstey@bloomberg.net, Yakob Peterseil, Samuel PotterFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.