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Hong Kong follows Asian markets higher after Fed leaves rates unchanged

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[SHANGHAI] Hong Kong stocks rose on Thursday as the Federal Reserve's less comments and decision to keep interest rates unchanged improved investors' risk appetites.

Still, the benchmark index pared much of its early gains, reflecting a cautious mood among investors after sharp climbs over the past two months.

The Hang Seng index ended the session up 0.4 per cent, at 23,759.80, while the China Enterprises Index gained 0.5 per cent, to 9,893.80 points.

The Fed left short-term rates unchanged, but signalled it could hike rates by year-end as the labour market improved further. It also cut the number of rate increases expected in 2017 and 2018, and reduced its longer-run interest rate forecast.

Nearly all main sectors rose.

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Chinese railway stocks including CRRC and China Railway Group jumped after China and Thailand agreed on Wednesday to invest a total of 179 billion baht (S$6.91 billion) in the first phase of a planned high-speed railway project.


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