Hong Kong shares set cracking pace, up 2%
Hong Kong shares closed Thursday at their highest closing level of 2012 following positive economic data in the U.S. and Europe, with commodity firms leading the gains.
The index has risen 13% so far this year.
With Hong Kong stocks trading at historically attractive price earnings valuations, funds that are replete with high cash levels are finding ways to put the cash to good use.
Hong Kong and China shares were stronger on Thursday, lifted by strength in Chinese financials and other growth-sectors.
The Hang Seng Index rose 406.08 points, or 2.0%, to 20,739.45 after trading between 20,564.97 and 20,761.70 during the session.
Market volume totaled HK$75.17 billion, up from HK$61.64 billion Wednesday.
CNOOC Ltd jumped 3.1 percent, while PetroChina Co Ltd was up 1.8 percent, CNOOC aims to double its oil and gas production by 2020. China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (Sinopec) gained 1.7 percent.
Aluminum producer Chalco ended up 3.8% at HK$3.86, and China Coal finished up 3.7% at HK$10.06.
Resources stocks were particularly firm following the positive economic data globally.
Shares of Macau casino operators were also higher, with several rising more than 4%, adding to Wednesday's gains after Macau's January gambling revenue data released yesterday afternoon pointed to a solid start for 2012.
Macau, the only place in China where casino gambling is legal, saw gambling revenue rise 35% to MOP25.04 billion (US$3.13 billion) last month, up from MOP18.57 billion a year earlier.
Las Vegas Sands Corp. a unit of Sands China Ltd. moved higher on its fourth-quarter net profit rising 44%. The company's shares ended up 4.9% at HK$27.75, an all-time closing high.
The company, which listed in Hong Kong in November 2009, said its net profit rose to US$306.7 million from US$213.3 million a year earlier as revenue rose 22% to US$1.33 billion.
The company also declared its first-ever dividend, an interim payment of 58 Hong Kong cents per share.
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