January 24, 2020 / 5:02 AM / a month ago

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

HONG KONG, Jan 25 (Reuters) - 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% at 27,949.64. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index rose 0.22% 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%, while the IT sector rose 0.3%, the financial sector ended 0.02% higher and the property sector dipped 0.2%. ** The top gainer on the Hang Seng was China Mobile, which gained 2.5%, while the biggest loser was Geely Automobile Holdings, which fell 1.2%.

** The top gainers among H-shares were China Mobile up 2.5%, followed by Hengan International Group, and China Resources Gas Group, both up 1.5%. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were China Resources Beer Holdings, down 1.4%. Geely Automobile Holdings and Pharmaceutical Group, which were down 1.2%. (Reporting by Donny Kwok; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

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