Feb 22 Hong Kong stocks ended near 18-1/2-month
highs on Wednesday, led by resource and property stocks, as
sentiment was lifted by the city's firmer economic growth
outlook and stronger China inflows.
The benchmark Hang Seng index ended 1.0 percent up at
24,201.96, the highest since Aug. 11 2015, while the Hong Kong
China Enterprises Index gained 1.2 percent, to
Market confidence was lifted on news that Hong Kong handed
out billions in tax cuts and poverty relief on Wednesday, to
stimulate its economy that is expected to grow more strongly
than expected at 2 to 3 percent this year.
Southbound inflows through the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock
Connect reached 43 percent of the daily quota on Wednesday, more
than quadrupling Tuesday's total usage of 9.8 percent and the
highest since Dec 30.
Sectors gained ground across the board in Hong Kong.
Investors were unfazed by official data showing that China's
home price growth slowed for the fourth straight month in
January as demand cooled further in the biggest cities.
A gauge of mainland property developers listed in Hong Kong
rallied 3.2 percent, hitting a nearly five-month high.
Linus Yip, strategist at First Shanghai Securities Ltd, said
optimism toward real estate plays was boosted as progress in
containing home prices might make regulators refrain from taking
more tightening moves in the property market.
He said the resources sector was bullish as investors
awaited China's annual parliament next month for clues about
supply-side reforms, which could further lift prices of raw
The resource sector added 3.5 percent at the close
to the highest since June 2015.
"But the market would be under profit-taking pressure, if
rising share prices were not justified, as earnings season has
kicked off," Yip said.
(Reporting by Jackie Cai and John Ruwitch; Editing by