HK stocks close up 0.39% on bargain hunting; financial firms lead

08:25, June 14, 2011      

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Hong Kong shares ended 0.39 percent higher on Monday, due to gains in utility stocks and bargain hunting in the Chinese financial firms, but property stocks fell after the city government's latest tightening measures.

Hong Kong stocks gained 87.71 points, or 0.39 percent, to close at 22,508.08 on Monday. The benchmark Hang Seng Index traded between 22,156.81 and 22,508.50. Turnover totaled 60.22 billion HK dollars (about 7.74 billion U.S. dollars).

The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index rose 52.03 points, or 0.42 percent, to close at 12,432.84.

Three sub-indices gained ground, with the Utilities sub-index rising 0.55 percent, followed by the Finance 0.52 percent, and the Commerce and Industry 0.39 percent, while the Properties fell 0.32 percent.

Utility firms rose on Monday as investors sought defensive stock after the index fell 5.3 percent in the past seven sessions. CLP gained 0.5 percent to 65.10 HK dollars, while Hong Kong & China Gas rose 0.6 percent to 17.48 HK dollars.

Chinese banking stocks advanced on Monday after their recent weak performance. ICBC rose 1.4 percent to 5.89 HK dollars after shedding 7.6 percent last week and Bank of Communications gained 0.8 percent to 7.47 HK dollars after falling 4.8 percent last week.

Hong Kong property stocks bucked the rising trend on concerns of slowing property sales in Hong Kong after the city's government announced another round of tightening measures. Sino Land dropped 1.7 percent to 12.58 HK dollars and Sun Hung Kai Properties fell 0.7 percent to 113.20 HK dollars.

In its latest tightening move for the property sector, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority told banks on Friday to limit mortgages on residential properties worth more than 10 million HK dollars to 50 percent of the total value, down from a previous threshold of 12 million HK dollars. A 60 percent mortgage limit will apply to properties worth 7 million HK dollars to 10 million HK dollars, down from a previous bracket of 8 million HK dollars to 12 million HK dollars.

Heavyweight HSBC Holdings rose 0.06 percent to 78.80 HK dollars, while Hang Seng Bank added 1.07 percent to 123.00 HK dollars.

Among other blue chips, HKEX, the city's sole bourse operator, closed 1.07 percent lower to 166.10 HK dollars. Hutchinson Whampoa closed up 0.93 percent at 86.70 HK dollars. (7.784 HK dollars = 1 U.S. dollar)

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