HK shares close flat
The Hang Seng Index closed down 0.04 percent at 21,010.01.
Chinese developers were standout performers, extending gains after housing inflation declined, a second positive jolt this week to a sector that for most is the biggest concern in the world's second-largest economy.
Beijing moved late on Tuesday to support first-time homebuyers.
China Resources Land Ltd jumped 5.7 percent in more than three times its 30-day average volume to end at the highest since Aug. 2 last year.
Cosco Pacific Ltd., which operates ports in Greece climbed 3.3 percent. Jiangxi Copper Co., China's No. 1 producer of copper, gained 2.1 percent after commodity prices rose.
Trading in shares of Alibaba.com Ltd was halted on Thursday pending an announcement regarding its parent, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, which is reported to be planning to buy back the 40 percent stake in it held by Yahoo Inc.
In China, consumer prices rose 4.5 percent from a year earlier. That was faster than the median 4 percent estimate of economists and 4.1 percent in December. The data is likely to have been distorted by the Chinese New Year holiday.
ICBC, the mainland's biggest lender, slid 0.9 percent to HK$5.46, while China Construction Bank Corp. retreated 0.6 percent to HK$6.35.
Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd., the nation's No. 1 supplier of the light metal, gained 4.4 percent to HK$4.30.
China Resources Land Ltd., a state-owned developer, jumped 5.7 percent to HK$14.76 and China Overseas Land & Investment rose 1.7 percent to HK$15.50, extending yesterday's gains.
The People's Bank of China said on Feb. 7 officials will increase support for construction of affordable housing and ensure that “loan demand from first-home families” is met.
Li Ning Co., a mainland sportswear retailer, surged 14 percent to HK$9.80 after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. added the stock to its conviction buy list in a report dated today.
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