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Hong Kong: Shares extend gains on China central bank comments


[HONG KONG] Hong Kong stocks ended firmer on Friday, led by mainland financial shares after China's central bank governor said on Thursday that Beijing is comfortable with the current macroeconomic environment.

Hong Kong investors were encouraged by Chinese central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan's remarks that showed government support for the stock market.

"Zhou's comments were the key to today's market movement. Investor sentiment has improved, and it will continue to be positive in the short term," said Castor Pang, head of research at Core Pacific Yamaichi in Hong Kong.

The Hang Seng index rose 0.1 per cent, to 23,823.21, while the China Enterprises Index gained 1.3 per cent, to 11,712.23 points. For the week, the HSI was down 1.4 per cent, while the HSCE was up 0.9 per cent.

Among the most actively traded stocks on Hong Kong's main board were Bank of China, up 2.1 per cent to HK$4.35 Suncorp Tech, up 3.5 per cent to HK$0.59 and China Jinhai International Group Ltd, unchanged at HK$0.05.

Total trading volume of companies included in the HSI index was 1.6 billion shares.