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Hong Kong shares end at 3-week high on hopes of more China link-ups

[HONG KONG] Hong Kong shares reversed morning losses and closed at a three-week high on Friday, buoyed by hopes that Beijing will soon expand cross-border investment opportunities between Hong Kong and China.

The Hang Seng index rose 0.9 per cent to 20,576.77 points, bringing its gains this week to 3.6 per cent. The China Enterprises Index gained 0.8 per cent to 8,595.28.

Traders said buying interest revived on talk that China will soon approve a long-touted plan to link the Shenzhen and Hong Kong stock markets, while also expanding the Shanghai-Hong Kong connect programme, launched in late 2014.

The Hong Kong stock exchange responded by saying that expansion of the Shanghai-Hong Kong Connect needs careful consideration, and the bourse has no knowledge of when the Shenzhen scheme will be kicked off, China's Securities News reported on its website.

Shares of bourse operator Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd (HKEx) rose 2.2 per cent. Most other sectors also advanced.

But Lenovo Group Ltd (0992.HK) lost nearly 4 per cent, after the world's biggest maker of personal computers reported its first loss in six years, hit by exceptional acquisition and restructuring costs as well as weak sales for its smartphones business.

REUTERS