Hong Kong stocks end higher, China Merchants Leads

21:37, January 26, 2011      

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Hong Kong shares ended higher Wednesday following four sessions of declines, with port operator China Merchants leading the gains.

The benchmark Hang Seng Index gained 54.41 points, or 0.23 percent, to close at 23,843.24 points, after trading between 23, 662.18 and 23,976.37 points.

Turnover totaled 68.21 billion HK dollars (8.76 billion U.S. dollars) compared with Tuesday' s 62.73 billion HK dollars.

The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index rose 87.92 points, or 0.7 percent, to close at 12,649.97.

Four sub-indices ended mixed. The Commerce and Industry sub- index gained 0.62 percent, the Properties rose 0.29 percent, while the Utilities shed 0.19 percent and the Finance lost 0.07 percent.

China Merchants, a mainland-focused port investor and operator, was the best-performing blue chip in the day, with its shares rising 3.2 percent to 32.7 HK dollars, after falling 7.8 percent in three of the four previous sessions.

Hutchison, the world's biggest container terminal operator, rose 2.1 percent to 95.8 HK dollars. The company said last week it plans to spin off its southern China port assets in a Singapore listing.

Blue-chip developer Hang Lung Properties rose 0.3 percent to 34. 90 HK dollars despite reporting a 81 percent decline in its net profit due to "negligible" property sales and a lower valuation gain on its investment properties.

China Construction Bank, the country's second largest bank which accounts for the third largest weighting of the Hang Seng Index, rose 1.6 percent to 7 HK dollars.

Banking giant HSBC, which accounts for the largest weighting of the Hang Seng Index, lost 0.98 percent to 86 HK dollars (1 U.S. dollar equals 7.788 HK dollars).

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