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Equities

Hong Kong stock market climbs to three-week high

CLP Holdings gains after profit rise; Chinese automakers spurred by deals

HONG KONG (Nikkei Markets) -- Hong Kong shares rose to a three-week high on Monday, aided by some earnings and deal-related news against the backdrop of positive global cues.

The Hang Seng Index rose 0.7% to 31,498.60, its highest close since Feb. 5. The index is still down more than 4.2% this month. CLP Holdings gained 1.9% after it posted higher annual profit on improved performance at its Australian and Indian businesses during the market's midday break. The power-utility company also increased its annual dividend.

Geely Automobile Holdings jumped 6.5%, its steepest single-day gain since October, after its controlling shareholder became the single-largest shareholder in Daimler by acquiring a 9.7% stake. The company, in a statement to the stock exchange on Monday, said it is not a party to the stake purchase.

Great Wall Motor added 4.6% after agreeing to cooperate with BMW on new energy vehicles.

Broad equity gains across the Asia-Pacific region appeared to help lift investor sentiment following a decline in U.S. Treasury yields on Friday that boosted stocks on Wall Street. The Nikkei Asia300 Index of regional equities rose 0.6%. Mainland investors made net purchases of more than 2.6 billion yuan ($410.3 million) in local stocks on Monday through the trading links connecting Hong Kong with Shanghai and Shenzhen. Total turnover on Hong Kong's main board was about 123 billion Hong Kong dollars ($15.7 billion), higher than daily averages over the past two weeks.

Jason Lee, vice president for stocks at investment consultancy Investment Strategy Institute in Hong Kong, said the medium-term outlook is improving on subsiding market volatility.

The Shanghai Composite Index gained 1.2%, climbing for a sixth straight day. The yuan traded onshore strengthened 0.4% to 6.3072 against the U.S. dollar.

Xinyi Glass Holdings climbed 0.7% in Hong Kong after reporting a 24.9% increase in 2017 net profit during the midday break, and said it was optimistic that average selling prices of float glass "will keep improving in the foreseeable future." Shares of its affiliate Xinyi Solar Holdings tumbled 5.7% after the company reported a 17.4% increase in 2017 net profit, while its revenue jumped about 59%.

Sitoy Group Holdings slumped 8.1%, trimming its gains this month to 9.6%. The company, which makes handbags and other leather goods, on Monday reported a 24.3% increase in net profit for the six months ended Dec. 31. Sitoy plans to open 50 new stores in China and Hong Kong in 2018, with about 80% of those new locations in the mainland, executive director Andrew Yeung said at a press conference.

CITIC Resources Holdings advanced 1.2% after it reported a 43% year-on-year increase in group net profit for 2017.

-- Amy Lam

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