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[HONG KONG] Hong Kong and Chinese enterprise shares ended higher on the first trading day of the new year on Friday and posted their best week in the last five weeks, with Chinese property and financials stocks leading the way.
The Hang Seng index ended up 1.1 per cent at 23,857.82 while the China Enterprises Index gained 2.2 per cent to 12,245.35.
The blue-chip index is up 2.2 per cent for the week, while the China Enterprises Index climbed 5.95 per cent, fuelled by the strong sentiment in mainland markets, which have surged on expectations that Beijing will roll out more stimulus measures to support the slowing economy.
Shares of Chinese property developers in Hong Kong surged as reports of strong December sales eased worries about the cooling housing market. China Resources Land Ltd climbed 7.1 per cent, China Overseas Land and Investments Ltd 8.5 per cent and China Vanke 10.6 per cent.
Financial stocks also rose with Ping An Insurance jumping 5.1 per cent, China Life Insurance rose 3.1 per cent, and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd up 1.9 per cent.
China markets were closed for a holiday on Friday and will reopen on Monday.
Casino shares fell after the release of Macau's gambling revenue for December, with Wynn Macau down 3.7 per cent, Melco Crown sliding 2.7 per cent and Galaxy Entertainment losing 1.8 per cent.
Macau reported during the lunch break that its gaming revenue fell 30.4 per cent year-on-year in December and was down 2.6 per cent in 2014.
Shares in China's biggest trainmakers China CNR and CSR Corp in Hong Kong continued to rise after the two firms confirmed that they will merge. CNR surged 16 per cent and CSR leap 18 per cent.