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Hong Kong stocks rally, end at fresh year-high
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19:51, September 17, 2009

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Optimism and abundant liquidity drove the Hong Kong stock market to fresh one-year high Thursday, with the benchmark Hang Seng Index moving close to the 22,000 mark before closing 1.71 percent higher at 21,678.51.

The blue chip index tracked overnight gains on the Wall Street to open 1.27 percent higher at 21,674.71, and moved between 21,636. 52 and 21,929.79 during the day's trading. Turnover totaled 84.66 billion HK dollars (10.85 billion U.S. dollars), compared with Thursday's 69.91 billion HK dollars (8.96 billion U.S. dollars).

It had gained 4.26 percent over the past two sessions.

Institutional investors also built on the market optimism, with UBS raising its target for the China Enterprises Index by 29 percent to 15,500.

Some of the analysts said the Hang Seng Index had managed to break through resistance at slightly above the 21,000 mark, but resistance was expected at 22,000.

The huge amount of money freeze by the recent major IPOs, as much as 720 billion HK dollars, was also expected to give the Hang Seng Index considerable support after they were unleashed later this month. Window dressing ahead of the quarter end and the Chinese National Day may offer some help, too, they said.

Optimism currently had the upper hand, but the potential exit of the central banks from the market could lead to downside risks, an analyst cautioned.

Market heavyweight HSBC Holdings surged 3.55 HK dollars, or 4. 06 percent, to close at 90.95 HK dollars, alone contributing a rise of 127 points to the Hang Seng Index. Its local unit Hang Seng Bank, however, edged down 0.09 percent at 113.7 HK dollars.

Hong Kong-based companies mostly outperformed. Cheung Kong, the flagship of Hong Kong's richest man Li Ka-shing, surged 2.92 percent to end at 100.3 HK dollars, and leading residential housing developer Sun Hung Kai Properties advanced 3.27 percent.

The finance sub-index gained 2.04 percent. The properties gained 2.26 percent, making it the biggest gainer among the four major stock categories. The utilities lost 0.23 percent and the commerce and industry category gained 1.34 percent.

China Mobile, the leading mobile carrier on the Chinese mainland, advanced 0.64 percent, and its smaller rival China Unicom gained 1.72 percent.

The mainland-based banks closed mixed, with ICBC advancing 1.3 percent, China Construction Bank 0.47 percent, while Bank of China lost 0.45 percent.

BOC Hong Kong, the local unit of Bank of China, however, surged5.69 percent to close at 18.56 HK dollars on the singing of financial institutions.

Bank of East Asia also surged 3.75 percent.

COSCO Pacific surged 4.06 percent to close at 12.3 HK dollars.

HKEx, the sole exchange operator, advanced 1.91 percent at 149.2 HK dollars. (7.8 HK dollars = 1 U.S. dollar)

Source: Xinhua

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