Recovery hopes spur HK shares to gain | Shanghai Daily

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Recovery hopes spur HK shares to gain

HONG Kong shares gained 2.1 percent yesterday, extending the previous session's best-in-a-month rally as strong earnings from two United States bellwethers raised hopes for a global economic recovery.

"Evidence of sales expansion in the half-year corporate reports could be a trigger for another round of upgrades by analysts," said Grace Tam, vice president of investment services at JP Morgan Asset Management.

Air China jumped 7.8 percent to HK$4.27 (55 US cents) after the carrier said it expected an at least 50 percent growth in its bottom line in the first half of 2009 as fuel costs fell and the domestic air passenger market showed stable growth.

The benchmark Hang Seng Index rose 372.93 points to 18,258.66, while turnover jumped to HK$60.7 billion from Tuesday's HK$51 billion.

Global lender HSBC led gains with a 2.4 percent ascent after its US peer Goldman Sachs surpassed expectations in its quarterly earnings.

"The market's strength seems hard to change in the near term, backed by ample money available for stocks. Economic data are expected to be upbeat, and the positive mood among investors is likely to give the index a further boost," said Wen Lijun, an analyst at Nanjing Securities in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province.

But some market watchers expect shares in Hong Kong and China's mainland to be range-bound in the second half of 2009, taking a breather after the sharp run-up in the first six months.

"Markets usually lead earnings upgrades and downgrades, so even if there is a slight analyst upgrade after the interim earnings, it won't help the markets much," said Bratin Sanyal, head of Asian equity ING Investment Management Asia-Pacific.

"The impact of the fiscal stimulus in China will begin to fade, so we need to start seeing improvements in the G7 economies in the third and fourth quarters to act as a catalyst for the market," he said.

The China Enterprises Index, which represents top locally listed mainland stocks, rose 2 percent or 208.80 points to 10,860.66 yesterday.

Bourse operator Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing was up 3.8 percent on media reports that Shenzhen may allow mainland investors to invest directly in Hong Kong-listed stocks through a depository receipt system.




 

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