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Hong Kong stocks climb for 3rd straight session on US rate cut hopes

Hong Kong stocks climb for 3rd straight session on US rate cut hopes

Hong Kong stocks advanced for the third straight session Thursday, led by property stocks which rose on the local government's property tax concessions and expectations of another U.S. interest rate cut.
The blue chip Hang Seng Index rose 107.85 points, or 0.4 percent, to 24,591.69.
Traders said the uncertain outlook for the American economy would lead to choppy trade in the near term.
"Property stocks were boosted by the government's budget measures, while sentiment on the sector is expected to remain positive ahead of the U.S. Fed meeting," said Peter Lai, a director at DBS Vickers.
He projected that Hong Kong's index could climb another 3-5 percent before the Federal Reserve policymaker's March 18 meeting.
In his testimony to the U.S. Congress Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned of sluggish business growth ahead and signaled a willingness by the central bank to cut interest rates again.
Local investors also welcomed billions of dollars in tax cuts and other relief measures handed out by the Hong Kong government after posting a record fiscal surplus. Financial Secretary John Tsang said property taxes will be waived for the coming fiscal year ending March 2009.
"Many of the measures are well beyond market expectations. The rates waiver is positive for property companies," said UBS analyst Eric Wong.
The Hang Seng property subindex rose 1.4 percent to 32,313.71 after gaining 6 percent in the past two sessions.
Sun Hung Kai Properties rose 2.3 percent to HK$142, bringing its rise since Tuesday to 9 percent. Cheung Kong jumped 1.3 percent to HK$119.90.
Chinese financial companies gained after recent declines on liquidity concerns on the mainland bourses.
Ping An Insurance rose 1.5 percent to HK$61.50, China Life Insurance gained 1 percent to HK$31.80 and China Construction Bank climbed 1.5 percent to HK$6.05.
CLP, the larger of Hong Kong's two power suppliers in revenue terms, fell 1.1 percent to HK$61.65 after its 2007 results came in below expectations. CLP's 2007 net profit rose 7 percent to HK$10.61 billion (US$1.36 billion; euro902 million) from HK$9.90 billion the previous year.
Turnover fell to HK$82.39 billion (US$ 10.58 billion; euro7.01 billion) from HK$99.35 billion Wednesday.
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Updated : 2021-06-12 18:50 GMT+08:00