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Oil holds above $100 on strong China lending data

Oil prices held above $100 in Asian trade Monday cheered by a surge in bank lending in China, the world's top energy consumer. New York's main contract West Texas Intermediate for March delivery rose 21 cents to $100.51 in late morning trade, while Brent North Sea crude for April gained three cents to $109.05. "China's credit news showed that the credit increased and that there is still growth there. Maybe it is not as fast but it is still moving along," Kelly Teoh, market strategist at IG markets in Singapore, told AFP.

China bank lending surges in January

China's bank lending surged in January from December, the central bank said, but analysts attributed the rise to seasonal factors. Loans by Chinese banks reached around 1.3 trillion yuan ($216 billion) in January, up 246.9 billion yuan from the same month a year ago, the People's Bank of China said in a statement late Saturday. In December, banks granted just 482.5 billion yuan in new loans, previous figures showed. The January lending figure beat the 1.1 trillion yuan median forecast by 11 economists polled by Dow Jones Newswires.

China $160 mln investment vehicle misses payments

A $160 million investment vehicle sold by China's second-largest bank has missed four scheduled payments, state media reported, as fears grow that potential financial sector defaults could roil markets in the world's second-biggest economy. The "Songhuajiang River No.77" product, which raised a total of 972.7 million yuan ($160 million) in six tranches, had failed to repay investors' capital and interest four times by early February, the 21st Century Business Herald reported late Thursday.

Hong Kong stocks end 1.78% higher

Hong Kong shares rose 1.78 percent Tuesday, following a positive lead from Wall Street as investors await the new Federal Reserve chief's first testimony to Congress. The benchmark Hang Seng Index added 383.72 points to end at 21,962.98 on turnover of HK$66.69 billion ($8.61 billion), its biggest rise in nearly three months as investors looked to snap up beaten down Chinese stocks. And Shanghai posted a third-straight gain since reopening after the week-long Lunar New Year holiday.

Hong Kong stocks up 1.60% by break

Hong Kong shares climbed 1.60 percent in the morning session Tuesday, in line with a regional advance ahead of the new Federal Reserve head's first testimony to Congress. The benchmark Hang Seng Index rose 345.78 points to 21,925.04 on turnover worth HK$33.35 billion ($4.30 billion). dan/mtp

Hong Kong stocks end down 0.27%

Hong Kong shares ended lower on Monday, bucking a regional advance despite a strong lead from Wall Street but Shanghai rallied on hopes China's government will unveil new measure to support the economy next month. The benchmark Hang Seng Index fell 0.27 percent, or 57.59 points, to end at 21,579.26 on turnover of HK$60.42 billion ($7.80 billion).

Hong Kong stocks end 1.00% higher

Hong Kong shares climbed 1.00 percent Friday, in line with a regional rally, as investors followed a strong lead from Wall Street hours before the release of crucial US jobs data. The benchmark Hang Seng Index added 213.72 points to end at 21,636.85 on turnover of HK$62.45 billion ($8.05 billion). Chinese shares closed up 0.56 percent on traders' first day back after a week-long Lunar New Year holiday. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index climbed 11.42 points to 2,044.50 on turnover of 67.8 billion yuan ($11.2 billion). dan/ac

Hong Kong stocks up 0.78% by break

Hong Kong shares rose 0.78 percent on Friday morning, in line with a broad regional advance as investors bet on a positive US jobs report later in the day. The benchmark Hang Seng Index rose 166.79 points to 21,589.92 on turnover worth HK$32.62 billion ($4.21 billion). dan/

Hong Kong stocks end 0.60% lower

Hong Kong shares slipped 0.60 percent on Wednesday, reversing earlier gains despite a rally on Wall Street, as traders remain on edge about the strength of the global economy. The benchmark Hang Seng Index lost 128.39 points to end at 21,269.38 on turnover of HK$65.36 billion ($8.43 billion). Shanghai was closed for the Lunar New Year holiday.

Sinopec 'cooperating' in Hong Kong bribery probe

Sinopec, China's biggest oil refiner, said Friday it is cooperating with a Hong Kong graft investigation after reports accused the company of bribery relating to its petrol stations in the city. Executives at the state-owned company are suspected of taking bribes from prospective contractors who were bidding to run petrol stations in the Kowloon area of Hong Kong, the Chinese-language Apple Daily newspaper reported, citing an anonymous source.
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