The Business Times

Hong Kong: Shares end higher on policy support hopes

Published Thu, Jul 15, 2021 · 04:49 PM

[SHANGHAI] Hong Kong shares ended higher on Thursday, with banks and property firms leading gains, buoyed by hopes for more government policy support after the economic growth in the second quarter missed expectations.

At the close of trade, the Hang Seng index was up 208.81 points or 0.75 per cent at 27,996.27. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index rose 1.08 per cent to 10,174.27.

The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking property sector rose 1.98 per cent and the financial sector ended 0.95 per cent higher.

Postal Savings Bank of China Co gained 5.71 per cent, China Merchants Bank Co surged 5.02 per cent, while Country Garden Services Holdings Co gained 4.12 per cent.

The IT sector rose 0.6 per cent, while the energy sector dipped 0.1 per cent.

China's main Shanghai Composite index closed up 1.02 per cent at 3,564.59, while the blue-chip CSI300 index ended up 1.35 per cent.

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China's economy grew less than expected in the second quarter, as slowing manufacturing activity, higher raw material costs and new Covid-19 outbreaks weighed on the recovery momentum.

"Our greater concern is the uneven recovery that we've seen so far, and for China the recovery in domestic consumption is very important," said UOB economist Woei Chen Ho in Singapore.

Investors are watching the central bank for a shift to an easier policy stance after the People's Bank of China cut the amount of cash that banks must hold as reserves with effect from Thursday.

Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.78 per cent, while Japan's Nikkei index closed down 1.15 per cent.

The yuan was quoted at 6.4586 per US dollar at 8.16am, 0.17 per cent firmer than the previous close of 6.469.

REUTERS

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