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Hong Kong: Shares end the day higher

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[HONG KONG] Hong Kong shares rose for a third consecutive day on Friday, helped by China December inflation data that raised hopes authorities will soon ease policy to boost growth.

The Hang Seng Index gained 0.4 per cent for the day, to 23,919.95, and 0.3 per cent for the week. The China Enterprises index was up 0.5 per cent for the day and down 1.3 per cent for the week.

China reported that annual consumer inflation hovered at a near five-year low of 1.5 per cent last month. "Investor sentiment has actually improved in Hong Kong as more policy relaxation will happen," said Alfred Chan, chief dealer at Cheer Pearl Investment in Hong Kong.

He said he expects China to lower the reserve requirement ratio (RRR) for banks "within next couple of weeks."

REUTERS