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Hong Kong: Stocks rise, outperforming regional peers

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[HONG KONG] Hong Kong stocks posted modest gains in thin trading on Wednesday, outperforming regional markets, lifted by energy shares after an overnight surge in oil prices and helped by some short covering.

The benchmark Hang Seng Index rose 0.4 per cent at 23,788.31 points while the China Enterprises Index gained 0.6 per cent to 9,811.18 points.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.3 per cent.

A sub-index measuring Hong Kong property stocks ended down 0.4 per cent, falling for the third consecutive day though losses were checked as concern on a weakening Chinese currency supported counters.

Shares of China Resources Land eased 0.5 per cent but those of China Overseas Land ended nearly one per cent higher.

China's Shenzhen has rolled out new steps, including higher mortgage down payments and home purchase restrictions, Xinhua news agency reported on Tuesday, joining other Chinese cities attempting to cool soaring home prices.

Turnover has been very low this week with volumes over the past two days struggling to hit the HK$50 billion (S$8.84 billion) mark compared to HK$70 billion last Friday, before China's week-long holiday.