May 22, 2017 / 8:35 AM / 4 months ago

Hong Kong stocks hit 22-month high, Tencent at record

May 22 (Reuters) - Hong Kong’s benchmark share index ended Monday at its highest closing level in 22 months, helped by buoyant sentiment in Asian markets and steady money inflows from mainland China, which helped push index heavyweight Tencent to a fresh record.

The Hang Seng index rose 0.9 percent to 25,391.34 points, while the China Enterprises Index gained 1.0 percent to 10,374.32 points.

Sentiment was generally upbeat in Asia, where stocks posted their biggest daily rise in a month following modest gains in U.S. shares on Friday.

With U.S. President Donald Trump touring in the Middle East and Europe and no major economic indicators due this week, Asian investors are hoping for a week of consolidation after a flurry of U.S. political controversies rattled markets.

Hong Kong stocks also continued to benefit from Chinese money inflows via two cross-border investment schemes.

Data from brokerage Jefferies Hong Kong Ltd showed Chinese investors spent net HK$12 billion ($1.54 billion) buying Hong Kong stocks last week via the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect, marking the biggest inflow so far this year, and the 22nd week of net buying.

Under the other scheme, the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect, weekly net buying totalled HK$2.2 billion, an eight-week high.

Tencent, one of mainland investors’ favourite stocks, gained 2.5 percent to another record high, having jumped 45 percent so far this year.

Also in the spotlight was Cogobuy Group, whose shares slumped 22 percent before being suspended in afternoon trading. The stock was targeted by short-sellers, according to media reports. ($1 = 7.7851 Hong Kong dollars) (Reporting by Samuel Shen and John Ruwitch; Editing by Randy Fabi)

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