* Hang Seng Index adds 2.1%, H-shares up 2%
* HSI hits 1-week high and biggest daily gain in 1 month
* Markets expect China to step up stimulus after Fed cut
HONG KONG, March 5 (Reuters) - The Hong Kong stock market rose the most in a month on Thursday on hopes that global central banks, including China’s, will ramp up policy easing to offset economic pressure from the coronavirus outbreak.
** At the close of trade, the Hang Seng index was up 2.1% at 26,767.87, near its highest level since last Thursday touched during the session. The index also made the largest daily percentage uptick since Feb. 6. ** The Hang Seng China Enterprises index rose 2%. The index touched its highest level since Feb. 21 on Thursday and also made its largest percentage daily gain in a month. ** The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares rose 1.2%, the IT sector rallied 2.8%, the financial sector ended 1.9% higher and the property sector gained 1.5%.
** Markets widely believe Chinese authorities will continue to move to lower financing costs for businesses and roll out measures to prop up the economy despite the central bank holding a short-term interest rate this week.
** The widening economic fallout of the virus has prompted policymakers around the world to step up monetary support, including an emergency 50 basis point interest rate cut by the U.S. Federal Reserve.
** Hong Kong’s monetary policy moves lock-step with the United States because of its currency peg with the greenback. Some of the city’s interbank rates hit 2018 lows this week. ** Blue-chips in China hit seven-week high and shares in Shanghai touched six-week high on brewing expectation of policy easing. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 1.3%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 1.1%. ** About 2.52 billion Hang Seng index shares were traded. The volume traded in the previous trading session was 1.96 billion. ** At their close, China’s A-shares were at a premium of 30.03% over Hong Kong-listed H-shares.
Reporting by Noah Sin; Editing by Alexander Smith