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Hong Kong: Stocks end higher in half day trade ahead of Chinese New Year holiday

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Hong Kong stocks ended slightly firmer in half-day trade on Friday with most participants staying away ahead of the Chinese New Year holiday, but investors were cautious as fears persisted over the spread of a coronavirus outbreak in China.

[HONG KONG] Hong Kong stocks ended slightly firmer in half-day trade on Friday with most participants staying away ahead of the Chinese New Year holiday, but investors were cautious as fears persisted over the spread of a coronavirus outbreak in China.

The blue chips Hang Seng index was up 40.52 points or 0.15 per cent at 27,949.64. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index rose 0.22 per cent to 10,976.19.

Provincial capital Wuhan city, the epicentre of the virus outbreak, and Huanggang city have been locked down while Ezhou city has shut its train stations.

China financial markets are closed on Friday for the week-long Lunar New Year holiday.

The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares rose 0.1 per cent, while the IT sector rose 0.3 per cent, the financial sector ended 0.02 per cent higher and the property sector dipped 0.2 per cent.

The top gainer on the Hang Seng index was China Mobile, which gained 2.5 per cent, while the biggest loser was Geely Automobile Holdings, which fell 1.2 per cent.

The top gainers among H-shares were China Mobile up 2.5 per cent, followed by Hengan International Group, and China Resources Gas Group, both up 1.5 per cent. The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were China Resources Beer Holdings, down 1.4 per cent. Geely Automobile Holdings and Pharmaceutical Group, which were down 1.2 per cent.

REUTERS