HONG KONG Jan 2 Hong Kong shares kicked off the
first session of the new year by closing at a 19-month high, as
investors cheered the passage of a bill in the United States
Congress that averted a fiscal crisis and eased worry of a
recession in the world's largest economy.
The Hang Seng Index closed up 2.9 percent at 23,312
points on Wednesday, its highest since June 2011. The China
Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong
Kong ended up 4 percent in its best daily gain in a year.
Mainland Chinese financial markets were shut for a public
holiday and will reopen on Friday.
* Gains on Wednesday helped the Hang Seng Index break above
chart resistance at about 22,800 that has stymied gains for most
of the previous two weeks. Bourse turnover was at its best since
* Counters such as growth-sensitive Chinese metal producers
and sports brands that were among the biggest laggards in 2012
were among the biggest percentage gainers on the day. Citic
Pacific surged 11.4 percent, while Li Ning
soared 11.9 percent and ANTA Sports jumped 8 percent,
all in strong volumes.
* Chinese financial stocks were among the biggest index
boosts after official manufacturing data on Tuesday held steady
in December, matching November's seven-month high.
* Macau gaming counters extended gains after data at midday
showed gambling revenue in Macau hit a record high in December.
Sands China jumped 5.3 percent, while Wynn Macau
rose 2.9 percent.