Financial heavyweights push up Hong Kong stocks

22:47, February 17, 2011      

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A pedestrian walks past an electronic board showing the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong, south China, Feb. 17, 2011. Hong Kong stocks rose 144.87 points, or 0.63 percent, to close at 23,301.84 on Thursday. (Xinhua/Wong Pun Keung)

Hong Kong shares ended higher on Thursday, led by good performance of financial heavyweights.

The benchmark Hang Seng Index gained 144.87 points, or 0.63 percent, to close at 23,301.84 points, after trading between 23, 079.47 and 23,320.43 points.

Turnover totaled 72.39 billion HK dollars compared with Wednesday's 67.69 billion HK dollars.

The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index rose 137.54 points, or 1. 11 percent, to close at 12,574.77.

Two of the four sub-indices gained ground. The finance sub- index and the commerce &industry sub-index moved up 1.16 percent and 0.41 percent respectively. The properties slid 0.39 percent, and the utilities went down 0.75 percent.

Banking giant HSBC, which accounts for the largest weighting of the Hang Seng Index, rose 2.08 percent to close at 90.75 HK dollars, and its local unit Hang Seng Bank added 1.16 percent to close at 121.9 HK dollars. Bank of East Asia, another Hong Kong's major bank, moved up 0.31 percent to 32.3 HK dollars, while local bourse operator Hong Kong Exchanges &Clearing lost 0.6 percent to 166.5 HK dollars.

Mainland-based financial stocks also gained. China Construction Bank, the country's second largest bank which accounts for the third largest weighting of the Hang Seng Index, rose 0.6 percent to 6.76 HK dollars. ICBC, the world's largest bank by market value, added 0.87 percent at 5.82 HK dollars. Bank of China went up 0.75 percent at 4.05 HK dollars. Bank of Communications, China's fifth biggest lender measured by assets, rose 0.66 percent to 7.59 HK dollars. The two leading insurer China Life and Ping An went up 1. 5 percent and 0.82 percent respectively.

As for Hong Kong developers, Hang Lung Properties was the best- performing blue chip in the day, with its shares rising 3.3 percent to 32.9 HK dollars. Henderson Land, another major developer in Hong Kong, advanced 0.6 percent to 50 HK dollars, while Cheung Kong Holding, a powerful HK-based developer controlled by billionaire Li Ka-shing, lost 0.49 percent to 120.8 HK dollars.

China's top refiner Sinopec rose 0.97 percent to 8.35 HK dollars. PetroChina, the country's largest oil and gas producer, added 0.38 percent to 10.64 HK dollars. CNOOC, the HK-listed unit of China's National Offshore Oil Corp., gained 1.9 percent to 17. 16 HK dollars.

China Overseas Land was the worst-performing blue chip in the day, with its shares tumbling 3.04 percent to 12.74 HK dollars(1 U. S. dollar equals to 7.788 HK dollars).

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