* HSI up 0.7 pct, CSI300 up 0.6 pct
By Yimou Lee
HONG KONG/SHANGHAI Feb 20 Hong Kong and China
shares closed up on Wednesday, with retailers gaining ground
after strong data from cosmetics firm Sa Sa International
Holdings Ltd and Italian fashion house Prada SpA
Gains for overseas stock markets on an improving global
economic outlook, in particular a stronger-than-expected rise in
German investor sentiment, also buoyed sentiment.
The Hang Seng Index closed up 0.7 percent at
23,307.41. The China Enterprises Index of the top
Chinese listings in Hong Kong rose 1.4 percent.
Brokers said a firm finish in Chinese markets also lifted
sentiment. The Shanghai Composite Index ended up 0.6
percent at 2,397.17. The CSI300 of the top Shanghai
and Shenzhen A-share listings gained 0.6 percent.
"Investors are now not so worried that the continuous
weakness of A shares will drag down the Hang Seng Index," said
Jackson Wong, vice president for equity sales at Tanrich
Securities in Hong Kong.
Wong said the market had become news-driven with investors
waiting for indications of Beijing's policy direction and for
signs of recovery in upcoming earnings reports.
In Hong Kong, retailers rose as consumer sentiment in China
improved. Sa Sa International rose 7.9 percent to a new high,
while smaller rival Bonjour Holdings Ltd rose 5.2
percent. China's largest footwear retailer Belle International
climbed 2.1 percent.
Shares of Milan-based Prada rose nearly 6 percent to a new
high after the maker of luxury bags and Miu Miu dresses posted a
29 percent rise in its preliminary revenue for the 12 months
ended in January, driven by sales in Europe and the Asia
Pacific. The stock closed up 3.3 percent.
"The easing of tail risks in Europe and China leads us to be
more positive on equities than we have been for some time, but
there will be bumps in the road as stock markets react to the
latest policy initiatives and developments," fund firm
Threadneedle Investments wrote in a Chinese New Year outlook
A decline in China's real estate sector was milder than in
previous sessions after Standard & Poor's said it did not expect
Beijing to drastically tighten or loosen its controls over the
industry this year.
In Hong Kong, China Resources Land lost 0.2
percent, while China Overseas Land fell 1.1 percent.
China Vanke, China's largest property developer by
sales, rose 2.1 percent in Shenzhen.
Macau gambling stocks fell for the second consecutive day
after the city's gambling revenue for February fell short of
expectations. Sands China Ltd fell 0.7 percent, while
Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd was down 0.9 percent.
Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd plunged 4.6 percent.