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Hong Kong shares track overseas peers higher, property jumps on housing plans

Hong Kong stocks rose on Thursday, on course for the biggest percentage gain in over 6 weeks, tracking gains with Asian peers fuelled by a late recovery on Wall Street, with major property developers leading gains after the financial hub’s leader unveiled new housing policy.

** The Hang Seng Index rose 2.41% to 24,543.19 by lunch break, while the China Enterprises Index jumped 2.88% to 8,654.83.

** Mainland Chinese markets were closed for a public holiday, and MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 1.5%.

** Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam announced on Wednesday plans of a Northern Metropolis on the border with the mainland’s technology hub of Shenzhen, covering 300 square kilometres. It is expected to have around 926,000 homes – more than half to be newly built – for some 2.5 million people.

Hong Kong stocks rally at open

** Henderson Land led gains in Hong Kong property developers, surging 6.4% at midday.

** Sun Hung Kai Properties, New World Development , CK Asset and Hang Lung Properties rose between 1.5% and 3.2%.

** The blue-chip property sub-index rose 1.99% and the mainland index for the sector climbed 1.55%.

** “Excitement on property stocks is seen fading after the recent rally,” said Steven Leung, a sales director at UOB Kay Hian. “Investors are cautious while appetite for taking more risk is low ahead of the reopen of China market on Friday.”

** Chinese Estates jumped as much as 31% to an over 3-month high after a major shareholder offered to take it private for HK$1.91 billion ($245 million).

** Energy firms eased as oil prices dropped under pressure from an unexpected rise in US crude stocks that raised concerns over demand after prices rallied to multi-year highs.

** CNOOC dropped 3.9%, PetroChina fell 3.62% and Sinopec Corp eased 0.3%, sending energy sub index down 2.1%.

** Meituan jumped 7.6%, Weimob rose 7.1% and Alibaba up 5.5%, sending the Hang Seng Tech Index up 4.3%. The financial sector gained 1.7%.

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