[HONG KONG] Shares in Hong Kong and Shanghai extended their recent rally on Friday as traders poured in vast amounts of cash in hope of fresh economy-boosting measures from the Chinese central bank.
The Hang Seng Index rose 0.71 per cent, or 170.08 points, to 24,002.64 on turnover of HK$147.76 billion (US$19.06 billion).
With Wall Street ending in negative territory, Hong Kong took its lead from Shanghai after Thursday's strong showing as investors bet China's leaders will add to last month's surprise interest rate cut.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index jumped 1.32 per cent, or 38.19 points, to 2,937.65 - its highest since April 2011 - on turnover of 639.2 billion yuan (US$104.2 billion). The index rose 9.50 per cent over the week.
But the Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China's second exchange, fell 1.84 per cent, or 27.33 points, to 1,454.63 on turnover of 411.3 billion yuan. It gained 2.42 per cent for the week.
Combined turnover of the Shanghai and Shenzhen markets reached a record 1.05 trillion yuan on Friday.
Mainland markets have surged by around 20 per cent since the People's Bank of China's rate cut, although Friday saw swings of four per cent in Shanghai.
"We forecast the stock market to make more headway, but do not expect it to remain on a tear," Capital Economics said.
"If the recent signs of mania - such as the frenzied pace of new equity account openings - trigger a further substantial rally in the market, we would be surprised if it didn't largely unwind further down the road," it told Dow Jones Newswires.
And Central China Securities strategist Zhang Gang told AFP the Shanghai market could next week break the psychological resistance level of 3,000 points - a level not seen since mid-2011.
In mainland China securities firms extended gains boosted by the record-high turnover. Shanghai-listed Industrial Securities Co. soared by its 10 per cent daily limit to 14.80 yuan and Shenzhen-listed Hong Yuan Securities Co. also surged 10 per cent to 25.50 yuan.
Oil firms rose as the price of the black gold stabilised after the huge losses seen at the start of the week. Shanghai-listed PetroChina jumped 9.88 per cent to 10.12 yuan, while Sinopec added 4.96 per cent to 6.56 yuan.
In Hong Kong China Mobile rose 0.80 per cent to HK$95.05, Tencent put on 0.59 per cent to HK$118.90 and Henderson Land Development was 0.58 per cent higher at HK$52.30.
China Construction Bank surged 3.01 per cent to HK$6.17 and HSBC dipped 0.13 per cent to HK$77.05.