The Hong Kong market closed lower yesterday, dragged by mainland banks after Ed Royce, chairman of the US House Foreign Affairs Committee, called for the imposition of sanctions on Chinese lenders doing business with North Korea.
The Hang Seng Index fell 78 points to 27,894.08, with market turnover at HK$89.5 billion.
Branches of China Construction Bank (0939), Agricultural Bank of China (1288) and Bank of China (3988) were reportedly fined a combined 4.8 million yuan (HK$5.74 million) for violating regulations. The news pressured China banks, with CCB losing 1.03 percent, ABC down by 0.83 percent, BOC 0.99 percent lower and China Merchants Bank (3968) down by 1.21 percent.
Auto shares gained on news that Beijing is considering ending the production and sale of cars that run on petrol. BYD Company (1211) surged 6.6 percent, while Geely Automobile Holdings (0175) gained 0.7 percent. Guangzhou Automobile Group (2238) was up 1.6 percent, while Great Wall Motor Co (2333) rose 1.2 percent.
Tencent Holdings (0700) rose 0.3 percent to HK$334, but HSBC Holdings (0005) slid 0.2 percent to HK$76.70.
The yuan rose 41 points to 6.5309 against the greenback.
Lu Lei, deputy head of State Administration of Foreign Exchange, said there should be no difference in the trading price of onshore and offshore yuan, adding there should be a unified level in the global market.