Dec 16 (Reuters) - Hong Kong’s main stock index posted its best daily performance in a month with a 2 percent gain on Wednesday, breaking a nine-session losing streak as energy shares surged.
Sentiment was aided by buoyant global markets, with an imminent U.S. interest rate decision set to remove a major uncertainty hanging over the market.
The Hang Seng index advanced 2.0 percent, to 21,701.21, while the China Enterprises Index jumped 2.1 percent, to 9,538.66 points.
The Hang Seng index had declined for nine sessions in a row and traded at merely eight-times earnings, compared with a multiple of 19 for the S&P 500 index, triggering bargain hunting among some investors.
China’s top three oil giants PetroChina, Sinopec and CNOOC jumped after the Chinese government said it would “postpone” expected cuts in retail petrol and diesel prices.
The government said the decision was aimed at restraining oil consumption and spurring environmental protection, but some analysts said the real purpose was to support refiners’ profitability.
“We believe there is an ulterior motive - to protect profits of the three oil majors,” wrote Oliver Barron, analyst at China-focused investment bank NSBO.
Stocks rose across the board, with an index tracking energy shares leading gains, up 4.4 percent. (Reporting by Samuel Shen and Pete Sweeney; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)