Hong Kong shares close up 1.4 pct to eke out weekly gains

HONG KONG, March 8 Fri Mar 8, 2013 3:06am EST

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HONG KONG, March 8 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares rose more than 1 percent on Friday, lifting both key indexes up for the week, with growth-sensitive counters buoyed by Wall Street's strength and an unexpected surge in Chinese exports.

The Hang Seng Index closed up 1.4 percent at 23,092 points. The China Enterprises Index of the leading Chinese listings in Hong Kong climbed 1.5 percent. They each rose 0.9 and 1.2 percent, respectively, this week.

The CSI300 index of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings closed down 0.5 percent at 2,606.9, while the Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.2 percent. This week, they slid 2.3 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively.

HIGHLIGHTS:

* China coal counters surged, paring deep losses on the year. In a note dated March 7, Morgan Stanley analysts said there is a limited downside to current coal prices, expecting the demand-supply situation to tighten. This would augur well for coal producers since sales volumes are index linked, implying the end of annual fixed price contracts. Weekly and monthly pricings are being discussed, but this will help enhance the margins for coal producers.

* Chinese oil giant CNOOC Ltd climbed 2.3 percent on higher oil prices and after the $1 billion deepsea drilling rig in the South China Sea it owns returned to work after nearly two months of repairs.

* Data on Friday showed China's exports dramatically exceeded expectations in February while imports were much weaker than forecast.

WEEK AHEAD:

* China data on inflation, urban investment, industrial output and retail sales are due on Saturday, with monthly money supply and loan growth figures expected from Sunday.

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