Hong Kong stocks climb 1.6%, highest close since Sept. 1
The Hang Seng Index gained 1.6 percent to 20,439.14 on Thursday, its highest close since Sept. 1.
The market has climbed 11 percent so far this month, the biggest advance among Asian benchmark indexes, as investors place bets China will ease lending curbs and on signs the U.S. economy is improving and Europe will contain the region’s debt crisis.
Chinese lenders and developers rallied today on speculation the mainland will loosen monetary policy.
Markets in Hong Kong resumed trading today following a five-day weekend, while those in China remain closed for the Lunar New Year holiday.
Hong Kong stocks jumped on Thursday as mainland lenders, like ICBC and BCC, gained.
Turnover shrank to 60.84 billion HK dollars (7.84 billion U.S. dollars) from Friday's 65.95 billion HK dollars.
The H-Share Index moved up 269.89 points, or 2.42 percent, to end at 11,416.88 points.
Banking giant HSBC edged up 0.78 percent to close at 65.05 HK dollars. China Mobile, China's dominant mobile carrier, ended up 1. 11 percent at 77.55 HK dollars.
Mainland lenders listed in Hong Kong jumped. ICBC, China's largest bank by market value, edged up 3.17 percent to close at 5. 54 HK dollars; CCB, the country's second largest lender by market capitalization, increased 1.97 percent to close at 6.2 HK dollars; BOC, one of the "big four", ended up 2.45 percent at 3.35 HK dollars.
Local property developers performed well. Sun Hung Kai, HK's largest property developer by market value, moved up 1.74 percent to close at 111 HK dollars; Cheung Kong Properties, owned by billionaire Li Ka-shing, edged up 1.25 percent to 105.3 HK dollars.
PetroChina, the country's largest oil and gas producer closed up 1.94 percent to 11.54 HK dollars. Sinopec, China's top refiner, moved up 1.22 percent to 9.14 HK dollars.
China Life, one of the world's largest life insurers by market value, ended up 4.29 percent at 23.1 HK dollars. (One U.S. dollar is equivalent to 7.76 HK dollars).
Raw material producers also gained after oil and copper futures increased. The London Metals Exchange Index (LMEX), which tracks prices of commodities from aluminum to copper, rose for a third day yesterday.
Jiangxi Copper Co., China’s biggest producer of the metal, gained 4.5 percent to HK$20.75. Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd., the nation’s largest supplier of the metal, climbed 3.3 percent to HK$4.12. Cnooc Ltd. (883), the country’s No. 1 offshore oil producer, rose 2.2 percent to HK$15.84.
Casino operators gained after analysts said gambling revenue in Macau this month may surpass the record of 26.9 billion patacas ($3.4 billion) set in October.
Visitor traffic to Macau should increase during the week-long holiday in China, Govertson wrote in a note yesterday.
Galaxy Entertainment climbed 6.8 percent to HK$17.94. Sands China Ltd. (1928), Asia’s biggest gambling company by market value, jumped 6.5 percent to HK$26.95. MGM China Holdings Ltd., a unit of the largest casino operator on the Las Vegas Strip, rose 2.6 percent to HK$11.92.
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