April 29, 2020 / 8:38 AM / a month ago

Financials lift Hong Kong shares after China banks post profit growth

* Hang Seng index ends up 0.28%

* China Enterprises index HSCE rises 0.57%

* HSI financial sector sub-index gains 0.6%; property sector up 0.9%

April 29 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares finished higher on Wednesday, lifted by financials after China’s biggest listed banks reported higher first-quarter profits and as easing coronavirus lockdowns in some parts of the world boosted global sentiment. ** At the close of trade, the Hang Seng index was up 67.63 points, or 0.28%, at 24,643.59. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index rose 0.57% to 10,040.87. ** The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking the financial sector ended 0.61% higher after China’s biggest listed banks reported profit growth in the first quarter despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. ** The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares rose 1.2%, as oil prices clawed back some of this week’s losses. The IT sector rose 0.02%, and the property sector rose 0.92%. ** The top gainer on the Hang Seng was Wharf Real Estate Investment Company Ltd, which gained 2.66%, while the biggest loser was WH Group Ltd, which fell 4.59%. ** China’s main Shanghai Composite index closed up 0.44% at 2,822.44 points, while the blue-chip CSI300 index ended up 0.46%. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 1.03%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 0.06%. ** The yuan was quoted at 7.0756 per U.S. dollar at 08:28 GMT, 0.07% firmer than the previous close of 7.0804. ** The top gainers among H-shares were Byd Co Ltd up 7.73%, followed by New China Life Insurance Co Ltd, gaining 4.47% and Sinopharm Group Co Ltd, up by 3.19%. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were Want Want China Holdings Ltd, which fell 3.97%, CSPC Pharmaceutical Group Ltd, which lost 2.04% and Sino Biopharmaceutical Ltd, down by 1.9%. (Reporting by Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Aditya Soni)

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