Connect to share and comment

Hong Kong stocks end 0.57% higher

PlacardEnlarge
(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Shares in Hong Kong and Shanghai rallied on Monday after China released another upbeat batch of trade data indicating a slowdown in the Asian economic giant may have bottomed out.

The benchmark Hang Seng Index added 0.57 percent, or 129.43 points, to end at 22,750.65 on turnover of HK$67.14 billion ($8.66 billion).

Data on Sunday showed exports jumped 7.2 percent year-on-year to $190.6 billion last month, much better than the 6.0 percent expected by economists. It was also better than the 5.1 percent rise seen in July.

The figures are the latest in a string of good results out of Beijing that indicate China's painful slowdown over much of the first six months of 2013 may have come to an end. Earlier this month the government said manufacturing activity grew at its fastest pace in 16 months in August.

And on Monday the government said inflation slowed to 2.6 percent year-on-year in August from 2.7 percent in July, giving the government more room to unveil new measures to boost the world's number two economy.

However, there remains some trepidation over when the US Federal Reserve will begin to wind in its stimulus programme, despite disappointing jobs data out of Washington Friday.

Utility operator Power Assets fell 0.7 percent to HK$67.85 and Hong Kong property developer Sino Land slipped 0.7 percent to HK$10.90.

Mainland companies performed well, however, and the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index jumped 1.9 percent to 10,528.69. The index last week jumped 5.2 percent.

Chinese shares surged 3.39 percent. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index jumped 72.53 points to 2,212.52 on turnover of 178.9 billion yuan ($29.2 billion).

"The latest economic figures lifted sentiment. Banking stocks also drove up the index," Haitong Securities analyst Zhang Qi told AFP.

Pudong Development Bank surged by its 10 percent daily limit to 10.53 yuan while Agricultural Bank of China also advanced 10 percent to 2.72 yuan.

Shanghai firms extended gains as investors bet on the beneficiaries from a planned free trade zone in the city.

Shanghai Dajiang Food Group rose 10 percent to 6.15 yuan and Shanghai International Port Group gained nearly 10 percent to 6.62 yuan.

PetroChina ended 2.03 percent higher at 8.05 yuan following a half-day suspension from trading. It resumed after making a statement that rejected a media report two executives were being investigated for graft.

dan/jms

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130909/hong-kong-stocks-end-057-higher-0