Hong Kong shares follow Asian markets higher on U.S. tax reform optimism
Dec 19 (Reuters) – Hong Kong stocks followed Asian markets higher after a record-beating run on Wall Street amid optimism over the likely passage of U.S. tax reforms. ** At close of trade, the Hang Seng index was up 203.25 points or 0.7 percent at 29,253.66. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index rose 1.11 percent to 11,541.88. **The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares rose 0.7 percent while the IT sector rose 1.85 percent, the financial sector was 0.83 percent higher and property sector rose 0.03 percent. ** The top gainer on Hang Seng was Ping An Insurance Group Co of China Ltd up 3.82 percent, while the biggest loser was Wharf Holdings Ltd which was down 1.87 percent. ** China’s main Shanghai Composite index closed up 0.88 percent at 3,296.6811 points while its blue-chip CSI300 index ended up 1.26 percent. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.44 percent while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 0.15 percent . ** The yuan was quoted at 6.6114 per U.S. dollar at 08:11 GMT, 0.08 percent firmer than the previous close of 6.617. ** So far this year, the Hang Seng index is up 32.04 percent, while China’s H-share index is up 21.5 percent. As of the previous close, the Hang Seng has declined 0.44 percent this month. ** The top gainers among H-shares were Air China Ltd up 4.92 percent, followed by Ping An Insurance Group Co of China Ltd gaining 3.82 percent and New China Life Insurance Co Ltd up by 3.49 percent. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were China Telecom Corp Ltd which was down 0.80 percent, Guangzhou Automobile Group Co Ltd which fell 0.8 percent and China Railway Construction Corp Ltd down by 0.4 percent. ** About 1.68 billion Hang Seng index shares were traded, roughly 85 percent of the market’s 30-day moving average of 1.98 billion shares a day. The volume traded in the previous trading session was 1.69 billion. ** At close, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 30.22 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. ** The price-to-earnings ratio of the Hang Seng index was 13.25 as of the last full trading day while the dividend yield was 3 percent. ** So far this week, the market capitalisation of the Hang Seng index has risen by 0.64 percent to HK$19.02 trillion. ** The short and one-factor leveraged Hang Seng index, which is designed to replicate the payoff of a short or leveraged portfolio and is linked to the movements of the Hang Seng Index, was lower by 0.7 percent on the day at 5,046.29 points.
(Reporting by the Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)
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