HK shares end up on Wall Street cues

20:49, September 09, 2010      

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Wall Street's overnight gains lifted Hong Kong's benchmark index Thursday, led by exporter Li &Fung and China Unicom, though weakness on the Chinese mainland's bourses because of declines in domestic commodities firms damped local investor interest and narrowed early gains late in the session.

The blue-chip Hang Seng Index rose 78.41 points, or 0.37 percent, to 21,167.27 after rising to a high of 21,248.58 inthe morning session. Market volume fell sharply to HK$61.86 billion, down from 118.81 billion HK dollars Wednesday, when turnover surged on active trading in China Mobile following Vodafone's stake sale.

On Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose for the fifth time in six sessions, closing 0.5 percent higher, as a report from the U.S. Federal Reserve suggested the economic expansion was continuing.

Easing concerns about a slowdown in the U.S.economic recovery boosted exporter Li &Fung, which derives the bulk of its income from U.S.customers. The company became the best-performing blue- chip, rising 5.5 percent to 42 HK dollars.

China's monthly trade figures are due Friday, while inflation data are scheduled to be issued Saturday.

Among mainland-related firms, telecom operator China Unicom rose 3.4 percent to 11.48 HK dollars, boosted by news that Apple's iPhone 4 has been awarded a mainland network access license, indicating the Chinese mobile operator could soon launch the popular device in the mainland.

China Mobile, the country's largest mobile operator by subscribers, was nearly unchanged at 77.45 HK dollars. It fell 3.8 percent Wednesday after Vodafone sold its 3.2 percent stake in the mobile operator at 79.20 HK dollars per share.

The mainland's stock markets fell on Thursday, dragged lower in part by profit-taking in steelmakers following recent gains. The Shanghai Composite Index ended down 1.4 percent at 2656.35.

China Construction Bank Corp. gained 0.9 percent to 6.59 HK dollars. Industrial &Commercial Bank of China Ltd. climbed 0.7 percent to 5.81 HK dollars. The companies are the world's two largest banks by market value.

Agricultural Bank, the nation's third-largest lender by market value, jumped 3.6 percent after Credit Suisse said investors may be underestimating the lender's potential.

Bank of China Ltd., the nation's fourth-largest bank by assets, gained 0.8 percent to 4.04 HK dollars after saying it has received approval from the China Banking Regulatory Commission on the proposed rights issue of A shares and H shares.

Energy producers gained after the price of oil rose yesterday for the first time in three days. Cnooc Ltd. rose 1.6 percent to 13.70 HK dollars and was the second-biggest contributor to the Hang Seng Index's advance. PetroChina Co., Asia's largest company by market value, increased 1 percent to 8.53 HK dollars.

Crude oil for October delivery rose 0.8 percent yesterday in New York. One U.S. dollar equals 7.8 HK dollars.

Source: Xinhua


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