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September 4, 2009

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HK shares rise 1.2% in thin volume

HONG Kong shares rose 1.2 percent, lagging the strong rally on the Shanghai bourse, with investors wary ahead of key monthly jobs data from the United States that may reveal a slower recovery for the world's largest economy.
The benchmark Hang Seng Index finished 239.68 points higher at 19,761.68, but turnover stayed slim at HK$57.8 billion (US$7.5 billion) against Wednesday's HK$53.3 billion, its lowest level in one and half months.
"Data coming out of the US is still better-than-expected, indicating that the worst is over but investors will become very cautious every time the index draws close to 20,000 points," said Jackson Wong, investment manager at Tanrich Securities.
Top insurer China Life rose 2.8 percent tracking gains on the Shanghai index while smaller rival Ping An Insurance climbed 3.1 percent.
The China Enterprises Index, which represents top locally listed Chinese mainland stocks, gained 2.1 percent to 11,429.21.
The Hang Seng Index has risen 74 percent from a four-month low on March 9, amid speculation stimulus efforts worldwide will revive global growth.
Gold miner Zijin Mining vaulted 8.5 percent to HK$6.88 after the price of the precious metal shot up overnight on its safe haven appeal.
Economic pessimism and a weak US dollar spurred gold to its highest level since June on Wednesday.
Other metal stocks also advanced with Aluminum Corp of China, better known as Chalco, gaining 4.4 percent while Jiangxi Copper jumped 5.9 percent after Shanghai copper prices rose 3 percent.
Shares of Macau casino operators rose sharply yesterday on reports that gambling revenues in the territory rose to a record high in August, signaling a faster-than-expected recovery in the world's largest gambling market. Galaxy Entertainment Group climbed 7.7 percent to close at HK$2.50, a level last seen in May this year.
Shipping stocks rallied on hope exports to the US will recover after a measure of US manufacturing issued this week showed factory orders expanded in August.
China COSCO Holdings Ltd, the nation's biggest container carrier, gained 6.5 percent to HK$9.81.


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