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Monday, January 24, 2022

Hong Kong stocks end up 0.91pc, Shanghai surges

Hong Kong stocks end up 0.91pc, Shanghai surgesHONG KONG: Hong Kong shares climbed 0.91 percent Wednesday, tracking another rally in Shanghai on hopes of further measures to stimulate the Chinese economy.

The benchmark Hang Seng Index added 218.59 points to 24,120.08 on turnover of HK$ 96.25 billion ($ 12.42 billion).

The index started on the back foot, but recovered through the day along with other regional markets ahead of the US Federal Reserve’s closely watched policy meeting later in the day.

The HSI and Shanghai were the stand-out performers in Asia, with investors betting Chinese authorities will add to their two interest rate cuts since November by further loosening monetary policy.

Speculation has been fanned since Premier Li Keqiang said on Sunday that Beijing still has a host of policy instruments at its disposal to kickstart the slowing economy.

“Investor sentiment was boosted on expectations that more domestic reforms will be launched,” BOC International analyst Shen Jun told AFP. “They also hope there will be more monetary easing along the way.”

Hong Kong flag carrier Cathay Pacific ended down 0.59 percent at HK$ 16.94 after news its net profit rose more than 20 percent last year failed to meet market expectations, as losses linked to fuel price hedging overshadowed a pick-up in demand.

HSBC rallied 1.31 percent to HK$ 65.90, PetroChina gained 1.35 percent to HK$ 8.24 and Tencent advanced 1.57 percent to HK$ 135.90.

Also, Kunlun Energy jumped 3.51 percent to HK$ 7.37 and Sino Land was up 0.86 percent at HK$ 11.70.

In mainland China, the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index jumped 2.13 percent, or 74.45 points, to 3,577.30 — its highest since mid-May 2008 — on turnover of 617.4 billion yuan ($ 100.3 billion).

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China’s second exchange, gained 2.05 percent, or 36.60 points, to 1,818.38 on turnover of 486.5 billion yuan.

“Speculation of more stimulus to come is helping to propel the market higher,” Yan Liu, a trader at Guosen Securities, told Bloomberg News.

Financial shares were among the biggest gainers in Shanghai. Bank of China rose 2.85 percent to 4.33 yuan, Huatai Securities jumped 5.19 percent to 25.11 yuan and China Life Insurance added 1.28 percent to 37.99 yuan.

Steel companies were also higher. On the Shanghai market, Fangda Special Steel Technology surged by its 10 percent daily limit to 6.23 yuan and Wuhan Iron and Steel jumped 7.35 percent to 4.38 yuan.

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2015

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