By Carrie Chen
HONG KONG (Oct 04) -- Hong Kong stocks closed at 29-month highs on Wednesday, as China's recent measures to boost liquidity continued to lend steam to mainland companies, and the upbeat global economic outlook fueled risk appetite.
The Hang Seng Index rose 0.7% to 28,379.18 points, its highest close since April 2015. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) advanced 1.8% after a 7.9% jump on Tuesday, leading gains among mainland banks after the nation's central bank announced last weekend reductions to reserves some lenders must hold against loans. Chinese insurers also rose, with Ping An Insurance Group adding 1.3% and ZhongAn Online P&C Insurance, which listed last week, surging 19.9%.
Market sentiment this week also was boosted by a raft of upbeat global economic data, especially positive factory activity from the U.S. and China, the world's two largest economies. The three benchmark indexes in the U.S. rose to record levels on Monday and Tuesday. The U.S. dollar index, measured against a basket of currencies, hovered near a one-and-a-half-month high amid strengthened expectations for another Federal Reserve rate increase this year.
"There is also support from other markets today, and especially when the rise of the U.S. dollar slows down, we'll see capital flowing into Asia," said Andrew Wong, chairman of financial services company Anli Holdings in Hong Kong.
Wong said investors are overweight on mainland properties and automobiles, but "they are rising too fast."
Chinese carmakers Geely Automobile Holdings and BYD added 4.9% and 7.7%, respectively. Geely's shares have more than tripled this year, while BYD has added 93%.
China Evergrande Group rose 3.7% to a record high after Chinese Estates Holdings on Wednesday said it raised its stake in the developer to 6.76%. Chinese Estates Holdings climbed 1.6%.
Among other mainland property developers, Sunac China Holdings surged 7% and China Vanke advanced 4.5%. China Overseas Land & Investment rose 2.3%.
Property developer AVIC International Holding advanced 8.4%. The reason for the gain was not immediately clear.
MGM China Holdings edged 0.3% higher, rebounding from Tuesday's drop triggered by a plunge in its New York-listed parent MGM Resorts International following a mass shooting in Las Vegas.
Sporting-goods maker 361 Degrees International slumped 8.9%. The reason for the decline was unclear. On Tuesday, the company reported a roughly 25% increase in order values for the second quarter of 2018 compared with a year earlier at its trade fair in Jinjiang, Fujian Province.
Jacobson Pharma Corp. rose 0.5%. It completed a notes issue worth HK$500 million to two subscribers, Dragons 615 and HH InRe. Dragons is wholly owned by DCP China Credit Fund, while HH InRe is owned by Hillhouse InRe Fund.
Genting Hong Kong fell 0.5%. The Malaysian casino operator received approval to delist its Hong Kong unit from Singapore's stock exchange, where it has a secondary listing. Genting shares rose 0.7% in Kuala Lumpur.
Greenland Hong Kong Holdings, part of Shanghai-listed Greenland Holdings, rose 5.3%. Oyster Point Development LLC, which is a joint venture of mainland investors, including Greenland Group, is in the process of selling a 42-acre waterfront site in South San Francisco, the San Francisco Business Times reported, according to real-estate site Mingtiandi.
- By Carrie Chen; email@example.com; +852 3960 5102
- Edited By Suzannah Benjamin
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