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Hong Kong: Shares post best week in 6 months


[HONG KONG] Hong Kong stocks rose on Friday, capping their biggest weekly gain in six months on improving risk appetite globally as minutes from Federal Reserve's latest meeting further eroded expectations of a near-term U.S. rate hike.

The Hang Seng index rose 0.5 per cent to 22,458.80 points, while the China Enterprises Index gained 1.2 per cent to 10,406.79 points.

For the week, the Hang Seng jumped 4.4 per cent, the best performance since early April.

The Fed's minutes gave a boost to risk appetite as it showed policymakers would be patient in delivering the first rate hike in the United States in almost a decade. "The chance of a US interest rate rise this year is getting slimmer," said Alex Kwok, chief analyst and head of research at China Investment Securities (HK).

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Mr Kwok said expectations that Beijing will unveil more stimulus measures have also soothed fears that China's economy may be at risk of a hard landing.

All major sectors, with the exception of telecom, were firmer on Friday, with an index tracking energy shares rising 2.4 percent.

Oil giants including PetroChina and CNOOC jumped after oil prices climbed to their highest in three months. Forecaster PIRA Energy Group predicted crude prices would rise to US$70 per barrel by the end of 2016.