March 25, 2020 / 8:54 AM / 14 days ago

Hong Kong stocks extend gains on U.S. stimulus cheer

* Hang Seng up 3.8%, H-shares add 3.8%

* U.S. senators, White House strike stimulus deal

* New coronavirus infections drop in mainland China

HONG KONG, March 25 (Reuters) - Hong Kong stocks rose for a second session on Wednesday, hitting their highest in more than a week, as Washington moved closer to delivering trillions of dollars of stimulus to cushion the economic blow from the coronavirus outbreak.

** The Hang Seng index closed up 3.8% at 23,527.19, having hit its highest level since March 16 during the session. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index also rose 3.8%.

** The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares rallied 6.7%, the IT sector rose 4.2%, the financial sector added 3.4% higher and the property sector gained 4.5%.

** The U.S. Senate will vote on a $2-trillion stimulus later in the day and the House of Representatives is expected to follow suit soon after, after the package was agreed by the White House and senior senators in the middle of the Asia trading day.

** Chinese stocks hit one-week highs. Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 4.5%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 8%.

** On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had its biggest one-day percentage gain since 1933 overnight on news that the two sides were closing in on a deal.

** Mainland China reported a drop in new confirmed coronavirus cases on Wednesday as imported infections fell and no locally transmitted infections were reported.

** Economic activity appears to be returning in China. Electronics stores, coffee chains and local authorities are slashing prices and handing out millions of dollars worth of discount coupons, while a survey showed more than one fifth of American companies are back to normal operations.

** Just under 3.61 billion Hang Seng index shares were traded. The volume traded in the previous trading session was just over 3.61 billion.

** At close, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 27.95% over Hong Kong-listed H-shares. (Reporting by Noah Sin; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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