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Hong Kong stocks end 0.10% higher

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Hong Kong shares rose Tuesday on bargain hunting and following a lead from Wall Street, while Shanghai surged a day after suffering a heavy sell-off.

The benchmark Hang Seng Index added 0.10 percent, or 22.69 points, to 22,560.50 on turnover of HK$73.90 billion ($9.54 billion), although it gave up much of its earlier gains.

On Monday, shares in Hong Kong fell 1.50 percent, tracking a big drop in Shanghai after Beijing at the end of last week took steps to rein in home prices.

New measures included higher down payments and mortgage loan rates for buyers of second homes, as well as a capital gains tax.

Eyes were on China's National People's Congress (NPC), which opened in Beijing Tuesday with outgoing Premier Wen Jiabao saying the government would target growth of 7.5 percent for the world's number two economy in 2013 and 3.5 percent inflation.

The NPC is meeting for nearly two weeks in Beijing and will seal a power transfer to Li Keqiang as Wen's successor, and Communist Party supremo Xi Jinping as state president.

Investors also cheered a 0.27 percent advance on the Dow on Wall Street, sending it to within 40 points of an all-time high seen in October 2007, as the Federal Reserve's number two official reaffirmed its aggressive stimulus policy.

China Resources Power surged 5.3 percent to HK$22.65, ladies' footwear retailer Belle International rose 3.2 percent to HK$14.86 and food and beverage maker Want Want China gained 3.6 percent to HK$11.48.

HSBC dipped 0.5 percent to HK$83.80 after saying net profit for 2012 came in 17 percent lower than the previous year.

However, Hang Seng Bank, which is 62 percent-owned by HSBC, rose 1.5 percent to HK$127.50 after net profit increased 15 percent, beating forecasts.

Chinese shares jumped 2.33 percent. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index closed up 52.91 points to 2,326.31 on turnover of 116.7 billion yuan ($18.8 billion).

The index dived 3.65 percent on Monday in the first session after the property cooling measures were announced Friday.

"The market overreacted to the new property curbs on Monday so it's reasonable that we saw a technical rebound today," Haitong Securities analyst Zhang Qi told AFP.

However, property developers still fell, although at a more moderate pace than Monday. Poly Real Estate lost 1.06 percent to 11.25 yuan, while Gemdale slid 0.93 percent to 6.36 yuan.

But banking stocks rose on hopes for strong 2012 earnings, which they will report this month.

Industrial Bank surged 9.92 percent to 20.16 yuan, China Merchants Bank gained 8.88 percent to 13.36 yuan and Pudong Development Bank rose 6.54 percent to 11.07 yuan.

dan/sr

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130305/hong-kong-stocks-end-010-higher-0