Hong Kong shares hit 6-year peak
The benchmark Hang Seng index, up 90.16 points to close at 17,513.88, has gained more than 400 points since August 29.Updated: Sep 04, 2006 17:54 IST
Hong Kong stocks rose 0.52 percent to a six-year closing high on Monday as the latest US employment report reinforced expectations that the Federal Reserve would keep interest rates steady this month.
H-shares, or Hong Kong-listed shares in mainland companies, jumped 2.1 per cent in their biggest one-day percentage gain in 6 weeks, led by oil refiner Sinopec Corp, which surged 4.3 per cent to HK$4.91 amid talk that China may raise retail gasoline and diesel prices this month.
The benchmark Hang Seng index added 90.16 points to close at 17,513.88 in its fifth consecutive gaining session. The index has gained more than 400 points since its winning streak began on August 29.
The H-share index ended at 7,040.39, its highest level in two weeks.
At HK$28.6 billion (US$3.6 billion), the day's turnover kept pace with the recent pick-up in daily volume.
"Sentiment has been good," said Steven Leung, sales director at UOB Kay Hian Holdings.
"People are putting money back in equities against the backdrop of peaking interest rates. We can easily test 17,800 this week -- it's not too far away."
But some said the market would face short-term resistance at the 18,000 mark.
"Investors may be overlooking the slowdown in the US," said Benjamin Tam, analyst at IG Investment Management. "Corporate earnings may slow down in the first quarter of next year."
Mainland financial shares rose, led by Bank of Communications, which as a recent laggard was playing catch-up, market watchers said.
China's fifth-largest lender jumped 2.9 per cent to HK$5.05.
Blue-chip exporters gained after the latest US employment data showed job growth picked up slightly, supporting some investors' view of a soft landing for the US economy.
Micro-motor maker Johnson Electric Holdings Ltd, the top blue-chip gainer, surged 5.4 per cent to HK$6.27.
Trading firm Li & Fung rose 1.2 per cent to HK$18.94, earlier setting an all-time high.
Cellular operator China Mobile Ltd also rallied, jumping 2.2 per cent to HK$53, earlier hitting levels unseen since November 2000.
Mobile handset maker Foxconn International Holdings Ltd rose for the fifth consecutive session, soaring 5.2 per cent to HK$23.45 ahead of its entry into the Hang Seng index at the close of market on Friday. It set a record high for the second consecutive session after reporting on Friday a more than doubling in its first-half earnings.
Shanghai-focused developer Shimao Property Holdings posted its third day of sharp gains, surging nearly 10 per cent to HK$8.42, earlier striking its highest mark since its listing in July. Local media said the company had bought a site in Jiaxing, Zhejiang, in excess of 500,000 square metres for 484 million yuan.
First Published: Sep 04, 2006 17:54 IST