Hong Kong stocks up 0.88% in shortened session ahead of Christmas

16:42, December 24, 2009      

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Hong Kong stocks rose 188.26 points, or 0.88 percent to close at 21,517.00 at midday in the shortened session on Thursday ahead of a Christmas break, tracking Wall Street's overnight rise.

Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up 1.51 points, or 0.01 percent, at 10,466.44, its fourth consecutive gain.

The blue-chip Hang Seng Index traded between 21,357.29 and 21, 591.99 during the session. Turnover totaled 27.55 billion HK dollars (about 3.56 billion U.S. dollars) on Thursday. The turnover for Wednesday's full session totaled 44.19 billion HK dollars.

The benchmark index rose 1.6 percent this week. Analysts said they expect the local market to trade in a tight range in the remaining sessions of the year.

All the all sub-indices gained ground. The commerce and industry sub-index rose most at 1.01 percent, followed by the finance at 0.89 percent, the properties at 0.77 percent and the utilities at 0.03 percent.

Local property companies led Thursday's rise on hopes the land auction of two prime waterfront sites in Tai Po on Monday will attract strong bids from developers.

The Hang Seng Index's property sub-index rose 0.8 percent to 27,519.69. Sun Hung Kai Properties rose 0.7 percent to 114.30 HK dollars. Henderson Land was up 1.1 percent at 57.65 HK dollars and Sino Land advanced 0.8 percent to 14.66 HK dollars.

Oil companies also gained Thursday on high oil prices. Cnooc rose 1.7 percent to 12.06 HK dollars and PetroChina was up 2.0 percent at 9.29 HK dollars.

Crude oil futures closed up 2.27 U.S. dollars at 76.67 U.S. dollars a barrel Wednesday after the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported large drops in oil and fuel inventories that exceeded forecasts.

Source: Xinhua
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