January 18, 2019 / 8:53 AM / a month ago

HK shares rise on trade hopes; tech, property shine

* .HSI +1.3 pct, .HSCE +1.2 pct; up for 3rd week

* Top Chinese official to go to Washington for talks

* Property names rebound with debt fears cleared

* Tech shares lead gains as Xiaomi offers buyback

HONG KONG, Jan 18 (Reuters) - The Hong Kong shares rose on Friday amid optimism the United States and China were moving toward resolving their protracted trade dispute, and as technology and property stocks rallied. ** The Hang Seng index settled 1.3 percent higher at 27,090.81 points. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index rose 1.2 percent. ** The Hang Seng is up 1.6 percent for the week, while H-shares climbed 1.7 percent. Both indices ticked up for a third week. ** The Hang Seng finished the session above the 27,000-point barrier on Friday, having breached that level on Thursday, and stood at its strongest point since early December, when Beijing and Washington agreed to a truce in the trade war. ** Liu He, Chinese vice premier and top economic adviser to President Xi Jinping, will visit Washington for the next round of trade talks on Jan. 30 and 31. ** A Wall Street Journal report claiming that U.S Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin discussed lifting tariffs on China lifted sentiments, even after it was denied by government officials. ** Investors in Hong Kong are also keeping an eye on Monday’s release of China’s preliminary GDP growth figures for the latest quarter and full-year 2018. ** China may set an economic growth target for this year of between 6 percent and 6.5 percent, lower than for 2018, the official China Daily newspaper reported on Friday, citing unnamed sources close to policymakers. ** Technology stocks led the advance, thanks partly to a rally in the shares of Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp . Xiaomi climbed as much as 5.1 percent after announcing it has bought back 6.1 million shares. ** The real estate sector recorded gains after property developer Jiayuan International Group said that it has duly paid all the outstanding principal and interest of a bond due on Thursday. ** The company’s shares jumped as much as 94 percent, after plunging 89 percent in the previous session. Jiayuan was the fourth most-traded stock on Friday. ** The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares rose 1.1 percent and the financial sector ended 1.04 percent higher. ** The top gainer on the Hang Seng was Sunny Optical Technology Group Co Ltd, up 7.7 percent, while the biggest loser was China Resources Power Holdings Co Ltd, which fell 2.5 percent. ** China’s main Shanghai Composite index closed up 1.4 percent at 2,596.01 points, while the blue-chip CSI300 index ended up 1.8 percent. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.7 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 1.3 percent. ** The top gainers among H-shares were Sinopharm Group Co Ltd , up 6.2 percent, followed by ZhongAn Online P & C Insurance Co Ltd, gaining 6 percent and China Vanke Co Ltd, up 5.2 percent. ** About 1.75 billion Hang Seng index shares were traded. The volume traded in the previous trading session was 1.92 billion. ** At close, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 17.91 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. ** The short and one-factor leveraged Hang Seng index, which is designed to replicate the payoff of a short or leveraged portfolio and is linked to the movements of the Hang Seng Index, was lower by 1.25 percent on the day at 5,102.84 points. (Reporting by Noah Sin; Editing by Shreejay Sinha)

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