Hong Kong shares hover at 3-week high, Bank of East Asia jumps

HONG KONG Tue Feb 18, 2014 3:10am EST

HONG KONG Feb 18 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares edged up to another three-week high on Tuesday, as a 3 percent rise for Bank of East Asia after the local lender reported robust 2013 net profit helped offset weakness for Chinese cyclicals.

China's central bank, in apparent response to surprisingly high new January loans, drained 48 billion yuan ($7.92 billion) from the country's money market at the first of its two scheduled weekly open market operations.

The Hang Seng Index ended up 0.2 percent at 22,587.7 points, its highest closing since Jan. 23. The China Enterprises Index of the leading offshore Chinese listings in Hong Kong slipped 0.4 percent.

Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp plummeted 16 percent in its biggest single-day decline in nearly six years after warning it expects a 68.5 percent decline in net profit for the quarter ended Dec. 31 from a year earlier.

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