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Hong Kong shares rise, led by Chinese banks
(Updates to midday)
* HSI up 1.12 pct, H-share index up 1.07 pct
* Agricultural Bank of China gains 1.4 pct after Q1 earnings
* China Eastern at 5-wks high after plan to buy Boeing aircraft
HONG KONG, April 30 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares rose on Monday, led by gains in Chinese banks after posting growth in quarterly profits, with the Hang Seng Index poised to end April in the black after a 5.2 percent slide in March.
Shares of China's big four banks climbed despite concerns over growing pressure from a slowing economy and rising funding costs.
"Investors are comfortable to park their funds in this (Chinese banks) sector as their valuations are not particularly demanding as compared with others such as the consumer sector," said Patrick Yiu, a director at CASH Asset Management.
"But stocks which are less sensitive to the Chinese economy condition, such as technology firm Tencent, are seen to be a better bet."
Tencent, China's biggest internet company by revenue, rose 2.4 percent to HK$239.40, its highest in a week.
Home appliance retailer GOME Electrical Appliances Holding fell 7.4 percent to its lowest level since November 2008, as investors switched to more promising sectors such as resources, brokers said.
Agricultural Bank of China, the nation's No. 4 bank by market value, rose 1.4 percent to its highest in six weeks. It said on Friday its first-quarter net profit grew 27.6 percent on rising fees and net interest margins.
Bank of China, the country's No. 3 by market cap, rose 1.9 percent, China Construction Bank gained 1.4 percent, and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd , the world's biggest bank by market value, was up 0.4 percent.
Bourse turnover remained weak ahead of a public holiday in Hong Kong on Tuesday. Mainland Chinese financial markets are closed on Monday and Tuesday.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose 1.12 percent, while the China Enterprises Index of top mainland listings in Hong Kong was up 1.07 percent on lacklustre turnover.
On the month, the Hang Seng Index is up 2.04 percent, while the China Enterprises Index is up 3.6 percent.
MAJOR STOCK MOVES AFTER EARNINGS
China Eastern Airlines Corporation Ltd, which posted a 73.8 percent decline in first-quarter profit, rose 2.3 percent to hit its highest in five weeks.
Sinopharm Group Co Ltd rose 1.6 percent to its highest in a week after the China's top pharmaceutical products distributor posted a 14 percent rise in first-quarter profit to 459 million yuan.
China Shenhua Energy rose 1.3 percent after the country's largest coal producer reported a 6 percent rise in quarterly profit, while China Coal Energy jumped 3.2 percent after it posted a 15 percent increase in first-quarter profit. (Reporting by Donny Kwok; Editing by Nick Macfie)
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