Hong Kong stocks close at 6-week high on trade talk optimismReuters | Hong Kong | Updated: 13-09-2019 14:37 IST | Created: 13-09-2019 14:28 IST
Hong Kong shares ticked up on Friday and clocked their second straight weekly gain on signs of progress in U.S.-China trade talks and tracking broad optimism in regional markets.
At the close of trade, the Hang Seng index was up almost 1% at 27,352.69, its highest close since Aug. 1. The index was up 2.5% on a weekly basis, its second consecutive weekly gain. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index added 0.9% on Friday, adding 2.5% in the week. The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares rose 0.7%, the IT sector gained 0.4%, the financial sector ended 1.1% higher and the property sector was up 0.9%.
The top gainer on the Hang Seng was Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd, which gained 4.8%, while the biggest loser was Sino Land Co Ltd, which fell 0.8%. U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he preferred a comprehensive trade deal with China but did not rule out the possibility of an interim pact, even as he said an "easy" agreement would not be possible. The lower-level U.S. and Chinese officials are expected to meet next week in Washington ahead of talks between senior trade negotiators in early October. Top-level negotiators last met face-to-face in China in July.
The two sides have been making conciliatory gestures this week. China renewed purchases of U.S. farm goods and Trump delayed a tariff increase on certain Chinese goods by two weeks. Reuters reported on Friday that Beijing has called on its biggest state firms to step up investment and assert more control of companies in the financial hub, in an attempt to calm months of unrest in the city. Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam has promised to prioritize housing and people's livelihoods to appease deep-rooted discontent about the way the city has been governed.
Financial markets in Mainland China were closed on Friday for the Mid-Autumn Festival and will resume trade on Monday, Sept. 16. Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.6%, while Japan's Nikkei index closed up 1.1%.