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Hong Kong shares up but trading thin amid US rate hike worries

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[HONG KONG] Hong Kong shares followed most other Asian stock markets higher on Friday, but light volumes indicated caution as investors braced for a US interest rate hike possibly as early as next month.

Investors are also increasingly worried that China's economy may be losing momentum again. Upbeat data in March suggested a pick-up, but April indicators proved largely disappointing.

The Hang Seng index rose 0.8 per cent to 19,852.20 points, while the China Enterprises Index gained 0.7 per cent to 8,303.58.

For the week, the HSI rose 0.7 per cent.

The New York Fed's William Dudley, a permanent voting member of the Fed's rate-setting committee, said there was a strong sense among Fed policymakers that markets were underestimating the probability of policy tightening and that the central bank was on track for a rate hike in June or July.

All main sectors rose, with IT and energy shares leading the rise.

REUTERS