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Hong Kong: Shares end at 23-month high, buoyed by property


[HONG KONG] Hong Kong's benchmark stock index finished on Thursday at a 23-month high, bolstered by property shares as Chinese money flowed steadily into the city's market.

The Hang Seng index ended up 0.6 per cent at 25,809.22, while the China Enterprises Index gained 0.2 per cent, to 10,619.88 points.

Investors ignored a private survey showing China's manufacturing activity contracted in May for the first time in 11 months.

On Thursday, Chinese investors used up 27 per cent of the daily quota under the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect to buy Hong Kong shares.

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Sentiment was also lifted by continuous strength in the property sector.

An index tracking property shares jumped more than 1 per cent to the highest closing level in nearly two years. China Evergrande Group gained 2 per cent, after unveiling plans to raise US$5.8 billion.

Moody's Investors service said on Wednesday that most rated Chinese property developers will continue to outperform the broader market for the rest of 2017, despite continued regulatory tightening to control property price growth.

The outperformance will be "driven mainly by their increased saleable resources, strong liquidity as well as their strong execution abilities, reputable brands and good project locations," wrote Kaven Tsang, a Moody's vice president.