[SHANGHAI] Hong Kong stocks ended higher on Friday to post their third weekly gain in a row, as investors cheered fresh policy support and upbeat data that pointed to China's economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis.
The Hang Seng index (HSI) rose 0.9 per cent to close at 24,386.79, while the China Enterprises Index (HSCE), the index tracking mainland firms listed in Hong Kong, gained 1.6 per cent to 9,914.90.
Financial firms led the gains on Friday, with the Hang Seng financials index closing up 1.9 per cent.
For the week, HSI gained 1.1 per cent, while HSCE added 3.1%, both posting their third straight weekly gains.
Investors cheered latest upbeat trade data showing China's imports grew at their fastest pace this year in September. New bank loans grew more than expected last month, fuelled by a jump in corporate loans.
China's economic recovery likely stepped up in the third quarter as consumers returned to shopping malls and major trading partners reopened for business, shaking off the record slump seen earlier this year.
Beijing's continued policy support for its capital markets also helped boost risk appetite earlier in the week.
China said it will extend its initial public offering reforms to all parts of its stock markets at an appropriate time.
That came after China's state council published last Friday the "Opinion on Further Improving the Quality of Listed Companies", which includes exploring more long-term evaluation mechanisms for institutional investors to attract more mid and long-term funds.
The index measuring price differences between dual-listed companies in Shanghai and Hong Kong stood at 147.81.