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HK rebounds after shaky start

HONG Kong shares, which spent most of the session in the red after a bleak United States jobs report, clawed back 0.1 percent by the end of trade yesterday as Chinese mainland insurers climbed, tracking strong gains on the mainland markets.

Defying the lukewarm broader Hong Kong market, shampoo maker BaWang International (Group) Holdings soared more than 30 percent on its debut, after its US$214 million IPO ranked among the most popular issues this year with its retail portion subscribed more than 400 times.

"That's the way the Hong Kong market functions; when something is hot everyone wants a piece of it," said Jackson Wong, investment manager with Tanrich Securities.

Shares in the company, which makes an "anti-falling" shampoo, rose 27.3 percent to HK$3.03 (43 US cents) by the end of the session.

Another market debutante, China Qinfa, also fared well with shares in the coal company tacking on 6.3 percent.

The benchmark Hang Seng Index finished 25.35 points higher at 18,203.40, but lost 2.1 percent on the week.

Turnover slowed to HK$54.3 billion from Thursday's HK$68.4 billion.

Asia's biggest oil refiner Sinopec Corp advanced 1.5 percent to HK$5.96 as crude oil fell toward US$66 per barrel after the latest American payroll data signaled that the world was still grappling with a deep recession.


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