Hong Kong shares end 1.84% higher

Reported by AAP
Friday, April 13, 2012

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Hong Kong and Chinese shares have risen as below-forecast growth figures from China lifted hopes of fresh monetary easing by Beijing.

The Hang Seng Index on Friday added 1.84 per cent, or 373.72 points, to close at 20,701.04 on turnover of HK$61.87 billion ($A7.67 billion).

China said on Friday its economy grew by 8.1 per cent in the first three months of 2012, its slowest pace in nearly three years, as domestic demand fell and Europe's woes curbed business activity.

The market had expected around 8.3 per cent growth for the first quarter.

Recent data pointing to a slowdown in the economy had led investors to expect an easing of the monetary policies that had been put in place to prevent the economy from overheating.

China in February cut the amount of cash that banks must hold in reserve for the second time in three months but the markets have been disappointed by leaders' refusal to announce much more than that.

However, official figures late on Thursday showed banks ramped up lending in March by issuing 1.01 trillion yuan ($A154.08 billion) in new loans.

The figure is higher than the 710.7 billion yuan in February and up from the 800 billion yuan forecast in a poll by Dow Jones Newswires, indicating that the measures that have been taken are working.

Mainland property developers rallied as they would likely be the biggest beneficiaries of credit loosening. China Resources Land soared 5.5 per cent to $HK15.00 and China Overseas Land rose 2.4 per cent to $HK16.22.

And among Hong Kong property blue chips Henderson Land rose 3.6 per cent to $HK45.25 and Sino Land rallied 3.4 per cent to $HK13.40, while Cheung Kong surged 3.0 per cent to $HK100.00.

China financial stocks were also lifted, with Ping An insurance up 4.3 per cent at $HK62.05 and Bank of China 2.8 per cent higher at $HK3.27.

Chinese shares closed up 0.35 per cent. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index, which covers both A and B shares, ended up 0.35 per cent, or 8.30 points, at 2,359.16 on turnover of 92.3 billion yuan ($A14.03 billion).

The index gained 2.28 per cent for the week.

"The figure raised anticipation of easing measures, but the market will likely be in a consolidation mode in the short term before China makes any substantial moves," Zhang Yanbin, an analyst at Zheshang Securities, told AFP.

Real estate shares rose. Developer Zhejiang Dongri surged by its 10 per cent daily limit to 10.92 yuan, Tianjin Songjiang jumped 5.01 per cent to 5.03 yuan and Shanghai Shimao climbed 1.21 per cent to 11.75 yuan.

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19/04/2014 06:42Sydney, Australia. 19 April,2014
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