Hong Kong stocks inch higher as financials lend support

HONG KONG stocks ended marginally higher on Thursday, aided by gains in heavyweight financial firms.

At the close of trade, the Hang Seng index was up 31.71 points, or 0.13%, at 24,786.13. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index rose 0.07% to 10,085.18.

Leading gains, the Hang Seng financials index ended 0.9% higher.

The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares dipped 0.8%, the IT sector dipped 0.19%, and the property sector rose 0.05%.

The top gainer on the Hang Seng was Sands China Ltd, which gained 5.2%, while the biggest loser was China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd, which fell 11.5%.

Hong Kong-listed shares of BYD Co Ltd rose as much as 5.1% to an all-time high of HK$146.60 since listing in the city in July 2002 on electric vehicle venture with Hino.

Investors could remain cautious ahead of the U.S. election and Ant Group's listing, KGI Securities said in a note.

China will strike a balance between stabilising economic growth and preventing risks, even as debt was allowed to temporarily rise this year to support the coronavirus-hit economy, the head of the central bank Yi Gang said on Wednesday.

China's main Shanghai Composite index closed down 0.38% at 3,312.50, while the blue-chip CSI300 index ended down 0.31%.

Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.42%, while Japan's Nikkei index closed down 0.7%.

The yuan was quoted at 6.6705 per U.S. dollar at 0834 GMT, 0.31% weaker than the previous close of 6.6502.

At close, China's A-shares were trading at a premium of 45.67% over Hong Kong-listed H-shares. - Reuters

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