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October 15, 2009

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Hong Kong stocks at 14-month high

HONG Kong stocks packed on more gains yesterday to close up 1.95 percent at a 14-month closing high, driven by liquidity inflows from investments exiting the United States dollar, which touched a 14-month low.

Commodity and export-related stocks soaked up most of the funds in Hong Kong.

The market largely ignored concerns over a possible property bubble as Chief Executive Donald Tsang said the government was ready to avert such a situation. The property sub-index ended with a 1.58-percent gain.

The benchmark Hang Seng Index rose 419.12 points to finish at 21,886.48, its highest level since August 7, 2008. Turnover increased to HK$64.6 billion (US$8.3 billion) from Tuesday's HK$60.4 billion. The China Enterprises Index of top Hong Kong-listed mainland companies gained 2.16 percent to 12,777.74.

"The market is likely to go even higher in the near term," said Patrick Yiu, associate director at Cash Asset Management. "The momentum is still quite strong. The HSI may test the 22,000 level tomorrow," Yiu added.

Powerlong Real Estate Holdings rallied more than 14 percent before giving up most of its gains to end 1.8 percent higher at HK$2.80 on its debut, against an IPO price of HK$2.75.

PetroChina gained 5.17 percent to HK$9.96, while CNOOC gained 3.48 percent to HK$11.90 after US crude futures rose for a fifth day toward their 2009 high of US$75 per barrel, helped by the weak dollar.

China Resources advanced 3.6 percent as commodity and export-oriented stocks benefited from the US dollar's weakness and record gold prices.

Tencent, China's largest instant messaging platform operator, jumped 6.16 percent. The stock has been upgraded to "buy" from "hold" by Citi.


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