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Hong Kong stocks close 0.19% higher


Hong Kong stocks rose 0.19 percent on Monday as a worse-than-expected US jobs report sparked speculation the Federal Reserve could hold off any further cuts to its stimulus programme at its next meeting.

The benchmark Hang Seng Index added 42.51 points to end at 22,888.76 on turnover of HK$58.17 billion ($7.51 billion).

Hong Kong property stocks were broadly lower, hit by profit taking after the sector last week posted its biggest weekly rise in over two months. Shares of property developer Henderson Land fell 0.3 percent to HK$44.50 and Cheung Kong shares fell 0.3 percent to HK$120.10.

Daiwa analysts in a note to clients Monday however wrote that most risks appeared priced into shares after a difficult 2013.

"We have the impression that many investors may have low or no weightings in the sector, implying that many negative expectations have already been built into current valuations," the firm said.

Chinese shares closed down 0.19 percent. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index fell 3.74 points to 2,009.56 on turnover of 55.6 billion yuan ($9.2 billion).

The market began the day in positive territory after China's market regulator said at the weekend that it would tighten supervision of initial public offerings (IPOs) to ensure transparency and fairness. The announcement led five firms Monday to delay their listing plans to comply.

The China Securities Regulatory Commission said in November that IPOs would resume and started approving companies to go public in December, releasing a flood of new issues.

The regulator has traditionally decided which firms can launch IPOs and when they go to market, instead of underwriters and the companies themselves, though authorities have pledged reform.

Investors have been selling in recent weeks on fears that new listings will lead to a share glut.

However, Haitong Securities analyst Zhang Qi told AFP: "Nothing has really changed. The move may have caused some firms to postpone their issues but the regulator failed to address the fundamental problems so investors were still worried."

Property developers and brokerages were among the laggards.

China Fortune Land Development lost 5.24 percent to 17.00 yuan and Gemdale fell 4.12 percent to 5.82 yuan, while Sinolink Securities dropped 5.25 percent to 18.24 yuan and Southwest Securities shed 3.09 percent to 8.77 yuan.

--- Dow Jones Newswires contributed to this report ---