March 21, 2017 / 8:25 AM / 4 months ago

Hong Kong stocks reach near 20-month high, helped by China inflows

2 Min Read

March 21 (Reuters) - Hong Kong stocks climbed to a near 20-month high on Tuesday, bolstered by continued inflows from Chinese investors and signs of global economic recovery.

The benchmark Hang Seng index rose for a fourth straight day, adding 0.4 percent to end at 24,593.12, its highest close since July 31, 2015.

The Hong Kong China Enterprises Index gained 0.6 percent, to 10,644.15.

The Hang Seng has become the world's best-performing major equity index this year, having gained nearly 12 percent.

That compares with a roughly 5 percent gain in China's benchmark index, and a 6 percent advance in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

"I think we can call it a bull market, although the pace of gains will likely be slow as the general mood is still cautious. It's a slow bull," said Alex Wong, Hong Kong-based director at Ample Finance Group.

He added that after the Hang Seng broke through a technical resistance level, its momentum will likely be maintained by steady money flows from mainland China and perceptions that Hong Kong share valuations are still relatively low.

Inflows from the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect were 24.5 percent of Tuesday's daily quota, compared with an average of about 18 percent in February and 11 percent in January.

Most sectors rose in Hong Kong, with an index tracking mainland property plays rebounding 3 percent following the previous day's slump due to fresh property curbs in China.

Shares of Meitu Inc slumped around 9 percent after a roller coaster ride on Monday.

The Chinese photo app and mobile phone company on Monday was the most active stock traded by mainland investors through trading links between mainland cities and Hong Kong. (Reporting by Jackie Cai and John Ruwitch; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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