January 9, 2019 / 8:45 AM / 5 months ago

Hong Kong stocks up 4th straight day on trade hopes, policy support

* .HSI +2.3 pct; .HSCE +2.2 pct; up 4th straight session

* U.S.-China trade talks wrap up after 1-day extension

* Beijing vows to encourage consumption amid slowing growth

HONG KONG, Jan 9 (Reuters) - Shares in Hong Kong rose on Wednesday to levels not seen since last November, as investors welcomed progress in the Sino-U.S. trade talks and fresh moves by China to stimulate domestic consumption. ** At the close of trade, the Hang Seng index was up 2.3 percent at 26,462.32 points, having reached its highest point since Nov. 30 in intraday trading. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index also jumped 2.2 percent. ** Hopes of a U.S.-China trade deal build after U.S. officials said they were wrapping up meetings with their Chinese counterparts, having extended the discussions for an unscheduled third day. The Chinese foreign ministry confirmed later that the talks have closed and results will be announced soon. ** Progress in the trade talks also drove oil prices higher on Wednesday, lifting energy shares in the Hong Kong market. The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares rose 2.6 percent. ** National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China’s top economic planner, announced on Tuesday that it plans to introduce policies to boost domestic spending on items such as automobiles and home appliances this year. ** The sub index for the IT sector rose 2.8 percent, the financial sector ended 2.3 percent higher and the property sector rose 1.2 percent. ** The Hang Seng curbed its gains in afternoon trading, however, as some investors took profit from recent gains, according to Steven Leung, director of sales at the brokerage UOB Kay Hian. ** “We haven’t seen the long term capital come back yet,” he said. “There’s a bit of profit-taking. The main (Hang Seng) index has risen over 1,400 points in the past few days.” ** The Hang Seng rose on Tuesday for a fourth consecutive session, climbing from the January 3 low of just 25,064.36. ** The top gainer on the Hang Seng was Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd, which gained 8.4 percent on the back of the NDRC’s announcement on boosting auto consumption. The biggest loser was Link Real Estate Investment Trust, the only company that ended the day lower on the index, which fell 0.6 percent. ** China’s main Shanghai Composite index closed up 0.7 percent at 2,544.34 points, while the blue-chip CSI300 index rose 1 percent. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 1.5 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 1.1 percent. ** The top gainers among H-shares were Great Wall Motor Co Ltd up 9.3 percent, followed by Guangzhou Automobile Group Co Ltd, gaining 6.9 percent, and China Resources Land Ltd, up by 4.6 percent. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were China Tower Corp Ltd, which was down 1.9 percent, Byd Co Ltd and Guangdong Investment Ltd, both down by 1.3 percent. ** About 2.76 billion Hang Seng index shares were traded. The volume traded in the previous trading session was 1.63 billion. ** At close, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 17.58 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 2.3 percent on the day at 5,228.37 points. (Reporting by Noah Sin; Editing by Sunil Nair)

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