August 25, 2017 / 8:45 AM / a year ago

Hong Kong shares climb, helped by strong earnings by Chinese firms

SHANGHAI, Aug 25 (Reuters) - Hong Kong stocks rose for the fourth consecutive session on Friday, finishing the week with a strong gain as forecast-beating results from major Chinese firms boosted investor confidence.

Better-expected earnings from major companies such as CNOOC Ltd and China Life and more optimistic prospects for China’s economy helped offset investor wariness ahead of global central bankers’ speeches at a symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

The Hang Seng index rose 1.2 percent, to 27,848.16, its highest closing level since Aug. 8. It gained 3 percent for the week.

The China Enterprises Index, which tracks mainland companies, rose 2.2 percent to 11,288.36 points, up 5.6 percent for the week.

Investors, who just months ago worried about the sustainability of China’s recovery, now appear more convinced that the mainland’s economic momentum will likely remain solid through the rest of the year after a spate of corporate earnings beat estimates.

The energy subindex jumped over 2 percent, led by Chinese oil giants Sinopec, PetroChina and CNOOC.

CNOOC reported its strongest semiannual results since the second half of 2014, helped by higher crude oil prices, while PetroChina also reported a surge in first-half profit.

Financial shares were also strong on the back of solid earnings growth from Chinese banks and insurers, including Bank of Communications and China Life.

Elsewhere, Li & Fung, a supplier to retailers including Wal-Mart Stores, surged 15 percent after reporting a 40 percent surge in first-half net profit. (Reporting by the Samuel Shen and John Ruwitch; Editing by Lisa Twaronite and Richard Borsuk)

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