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Hong Kong stocks close 0.47% higher

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Hong Kong stocks closed 0.47 percent higher Friday, tracking a strong lead from Wall Street ahead of a keynote speech by the US Federal Reserve chief.

The Hang Seng Index added 118.13 points to 25,112.23 on turnover of HK$63.67 billion ($8.22 billion).

In Hong Kong, China Mobile gained 0.64 percent to HK$95, while Internet giant Tencent was flat at HK$ 130.7.

There were also gains for HSBC, which rose 0.91 percent to HK$83.2, and Bank of China added 0.55 percent to HK$3.67.

The southern Chinese city's bourse traded above or around the psychologically important 25,000 benchmark for much of the week.

The upward momentum followed a rally on Wall Street as investors shrugged off geopolitical concerns, cheered by fresh signs of strength in the US economy.

The broad-based S&P added 0.29 percent to hit a record 1,992.37, while the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.36 percent to 17,039.49.

Investors took encouragement from a host of positive data on the US economy -- including a pick-up in existing-home sales in July and a downturn in new claims for unemployment insurance.

In China shares ended up on Friday as weak economic data sparked hopes for supportive government policies, dealers said.

The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.46 percent, or 10.35 points, to 2,240.81 on turnover of 140.4 billion yuan ($22.8 billion). The index climbed 0.63 percent for the week.

The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China's second exchange, gained 0.71 percent, or 8.67 points, to 1,232.50 on turnover of 170.4 billion yuan. It jumped 2.61 percent over the week.

Investors were expecting the government to ease monetary policy to aid the economy after weakening manufacturing data released Thursday raised concerns, analysts said.

"Expectations for easing policies were strong, but the upside was limited as investors were divided on the extent of the possible monetary easing," BOC International analyst Shen Jun told AFP.

Tourism shares were buoyed by reports China has issued new guidelines to promote development of the industry.

Beijing Jingxi Tourism Development soared by its 10 percent daily limit to 15.05 yuan in Shenzhen, while Huangshan Tourism Development rose 1.07 percent to 14.14 yuan in Shanghai.

Port operators were higher in Shanghai after state media said China agreed to give landlocked Mongolia access to some of its ports.

Tangshan Port Group surged 10 percent to 5.12 yuan while Yingkou Port also jumped 10 percent to 3.22 yuan.

Banks were also slightly higher in Shanghai on bargain hunting. ICBC rose 0.29 percent to 3.51 yuan while Bank of China advanced 0.74 percent to 2.71 yuan.

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