Jan 9 Hong Kong stocks edged higher on Monday,
led by utility and services stocks, but gains were capped by
increasing pressure from profit-taking after a two-week long
The benchmark Hang Seng index rose for the third
straight day, up 0.3 percent, to 22,558.69 points, after last
week having the strongest weekly gains in three months,
The Hong Kong China Enterprises Index lost 0.1
percent on Monday, to 9,602.32 points.
Analysts said the market was keeping a close watch on the
U.S. currency which extended gains from the previous session on
Monday, after data showed a rebound in U.S. wages, pointing to
sustained labour market momentum and more rate increases from
the U.S. Federal Reserve.
"The dollar was still on track to rise this year and its
influence on the Hong Kong market is not over yet," said Linus
Yip, strategist at First Shanghai Securities Ltd.
The stronger dollar exerted renewed pressure on the yuan,
which stabilised in offshore markets after last week's surge,
offering signs that Beijing was letting market forces dictate
the direction of the Chinese currency in Hong Kong so long as
the pace of depreciation remains within Beijing's comfort zone.
Most sectors gained ground, with services and
utilities stocks among the best performers.
Shares of China Gas Holdings Ltd and China
Resources Gas Group Ltd jumped around 5 percent and
6.4 percent respectively after China pledged to extend tax
waivers for importing some equipment for oil and gas
(Reporting by Jackie Cai and John Ruwitch; Editing by Richard