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Hong Kong: Stocks edge up before ECB meeting, aided by commodity shares

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[HONG KONG] Hong Kong stocks rose for the second day on Wednesday, lifted by energy and raw materials sectors, but trading was thin as investors were cautious ahead of the European Central Bank's policy meeting on Thursday.

Both the benchmark Hang Seng index and the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index added 0.6 per cent, to 22,800.92 points and 9,829.58 points respectively.

Investors were awaiting the outcome of the ECB meeting as the immediate threat of financial and political instability in Italy following its referendum vote faded.

The ECB is expected to change the terms of its asset-purchase programme to alleviate a shortage of bonds and to extend the programme beyond its current end date in March 2017, though traders were cautious ahead of the outcome.

Market voices on:

Most sectors in Hong Kong firmed on Wednesday.

An index tracking the energy sector advanced about 0.7 per cent. China Shenhua Energy Co Ltd climbed more than 2 per cent on rising coal prices. Coking coal futures in the mainland firmed over 5 per cent.