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Hong Kong stocks rise for 4th consecutive day
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20:46, April 07, 2008

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Hong Kong-listed mainland insurers tracked gains in the mainland's stock markets Monday, pushing Hong Kong's benchmark index higher for the fourth consecutive session.

The blue-chip Hang Seng Index rose 314.13 points, or 1.3 percent, to 24,578.76 after trading between 24,269.55 and 24,642. 02 during the session. The index has rebounded nearly 8 percent so far this month after falling nearly 20 percent in the first quarter.

Turnover rose to 99.47 billion HK dollars (12.78 billion U.S. dollars) from last Thursday's 91.5 billion HK dollars (11.76 billion U.S. dollars).

Analysts said they expect the performance of the benchmark index to be choppy in the near term because of concerns over the U. S. economic outlook.

Markets in Hong Kong and the mainland were closed Friday for a public holiday.

Confidence in mainland stocks was boosted after investment guruJim Rogers said Monday he started buying mainland and Taiwan stocks in the last few weeks due to their recent corrections, and that he would buy a lot more if there are further declines in the markets.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index, which tracks both A and B shares, rose 4.5 percent Monday to 3,599.62 on bargain hunting. The benchmark index is now down 31.6 percent since the beginning of the year and off 41.2 percent since its mid-October record high.

Mainland insurers led the blue-chip gains in Hong Kong.

Ping An, China's second-largest insurer after China Life Insurance, jumped 5.2 percent to 66.35 HK dollars on news it is setting up a 20 billion yuan private-equity unit to invest in pre-initial public offering deals.

China Life Insurance rose 3.4 percent to 30.60 HK dollars.

Hong Kong Exchanges, the blue-chip stock market operator often seen as a proxy for the performance of the bourse market, advanced2.6 percent to 152.30 HK dollars.

Chinese ports investor Cosco Pacific surged 6 percent to 16.96 HK dollars after it posted a 47 percent rise in net profit for 2007. Its net profit rose to 427.8 million U.S. dollars from 291.1million U.S. dollars a year earlier, lifted by the sale of its stake in a Hong Kong lender and strong demand for container ports.(7.8 HK dollars = 1 U.S. dollars)

Source: Xinhua

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