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Hong Kong stocks close 1.06% higher

Hong Kong shares rose 1.06 percent Friday despite losses on Wall Street, while traders look ahead to the release of key data from China, Japan and the United States next week. The benchmark Hang Seng Index added 231.08 points to finish at 22,065.53 on turnover of HK$72.70 billion (US$9.38 billion). US shares ended lower Thursday on mixed economic data. First-time claims for unemployment benefits dropped over the past week, and US fourth-quarter economic growth was revised up. But pending home sales fell to the lowest level since October 2011.

Hong Kong stocks close down 0.24%

Hong Kong shares slipped 0.24 percent on Thursday following losses on Wall Street and as traders remain wary over the Crimean crisis. The benchmark Hang Seng Index lost 53.30 points to finish at 21,834.45 on turnover of HK$88.11 billion (US$11.37 billion). In the United States Wednesday, the Dow fell 0.60 percent, the S&P 500 declined 0.70 percent and the Nasdaq sank 1.43 percent. Investors are keeping an eye on events in Europe after Russia took control of Crimea from Ukraine this month.

China banks' resilience surprises amid slowing economy, loan defaults

By Gabriel Wildau and Lawrence White SHANGHAI/HONG KONG (Reuters) - China's biggest banks showed milder-than-expected signs of financial stress from loan defaults and shrinking profit margins, cheering investors even as the lenders this week posted their slowest profit growth since they became listed. A slowing economy and the debt overhang from the massive credit-fuelled stimulus that Chinese policymakers launched in response to the 2008 financial crisis are stoking concern about a rise in bad loans.

China's ICBC 2013 full-year net profit up 10.2%

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the country's biggest lender by assets, said on Thursday its net profit rose 10.2 percent last year, amid "still-complicated" global economic situation. The bank, a symbol of the nation's financial might, reported in a filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange that its 2013 net profit to be 262.97 billion yuan ($42.32 billion), compared to 238.69 billion yuan in 2012.

Hong Kong stocks down 0.47% by lunch

Hong Kong shares slipped 0.47 percent in the morning session Thursday, in line with a regional sell-off and following losses on Wall Street. The benchmark Hang Seng Index fell 101.89 points to 21,785.86 by the break, on turnover of HK$47.42 billion ($6.11 billion). dan/pj

Hong Kong stocks close 0.72% higher

Hong Kong shares rose 0.72 percent on Wednesday, following a rally on Wall Street after data showed a strong pick-up in US consumer confidence. The benchmark Hang Seng Index climbed 155.43 points to 21,887.75 on turnover of HK$73.89 billion (US$9.53 billion). Traders took their lead from New York, where the three main indexes jumped after a closely watched survey showed confidence among American consumers surging.

Alibaba launches entertainment investment fund

By Paul Carsten BEIJING (Reuters) - China's Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, the world's biggest e-commerce company, will launch a fund that allows customers to invest in entertainment products, the company said on Wednesday, as it expands its financial services platform.

Hong Kong stocks close 0.52% down

Hong Kong shares ended 0.52 percent lower on Tuesday following losses on Wall Street and owing to profit-taking from the previous day's big gains. The benchmark Hang Seng Index slipped 114.13 points to 21,732.32 on turnover of HK$66.68 billion (US$8.60 billion). The index jumped 1.91 percent on Monday as investors took a preliminary report showing China's manufacturing contracting further in March as possibly pushing Beijing to loosen monetary policy.

China oil giants enjoy profit rises despite weak economy

China's major onshore oil firms Sinopec and PetroChina said profits rose in 2013, despite weakness in the world's second largest economy. Sinopec -- a listed unit of China Petrochemical Corp -- saw net profit edge up 3.5 percent year on year to 66.1 billion yuan ($10.6 billion), it said in a statement on Sunday, with revenue up 3.4 percent at 2.9 trillion yuan thanks to "stable" domestic demand. "China's economy kept turning for the better, so demand for oil and petrochemical products in the domestic market grew stably," Sinopec chairman Fu Chengyu said in the statement.

Hong Kong stocks close 1.20% higher

Hong Kong stocks jumped 1.20 percent on Friday, following a heavy sell-off in the previous session in response to indications that US interest rates could be hiked early next year. The benchmark Hang Seng Index rose 254.54 points to 21,436.70 on turnover of HK$91.71 billion (US$11.83 billion). The head of the Federal Reserve on Wednesday hinted that US interest rates could be hiked early next year, sooner than analysts had expected. Janet Yellen told a news conference that a rate rise could come "around six months" after the bank's stimulus programme ends.
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