HONG KONG stocks ended higher on Tuesday, tracking other Asian markets, as sentiment was lifted globally after a federal agency gave U.S. President-elect Joe Biden the go-ahead to begin his White House transition and on progress on a COVID-19 vaccine.
At the close of trade, the Hang Seng index was up 102.00 points or 0.39% at 26,588.20. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index fell 0.51% to 10,612.58.
The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares dipped 0.1%, while the IT sector dipped 0.26%, the financial sector ended 0.45% higher and the property sector rose 1.24%.
The top gainer on the Hang Seng was Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd, which gained 4.03%, while the biggest loser was WuXi Biologics (Cayman) Inc, which fell 4.17%.
U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted that he had told his team "do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols," after a U.S. federal agency that must sign off on the presidential transition told Biden on Monday that he can formally begin the hand-over process.
The progress made on COVID-19 vaccines, which had underpinned Wall Street overnight, helped keep risk appetite elevated as it boosted optimism about a quicker revival for the global economy.
AstraZeneca said on Monday its COVID-19 vaccine, cheaper to make, easier to distribute and faster to scale-up than its rivals, could be as much as 90% effective.
Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.79%, while Japan's Nikkei index closed up 2.5%.
The yuan was quoted at 6.5746 per U.S. dollar at 08:11 GMT, 0.16% firmer than the previous close of 6.585.
At close, China's A-shares were trading at a premium of 43.03% over Hong Kong-listed H-shares. - Reuters
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