April 9, 2019 / 8:34 AM / 17 days ago

HK shares end higher on China policy optimism

* Hang Seng up 0.3 pct, H-shares add 0.2 pct

* China policy support lifts blue-chips, real estate shares

* Fed minutes due Wednesday, expected to confirm dovish views

HONG KONG, April 9 (Reuters) - Stocks in Hong Kong rose on Tuesday after a fresh Chinese policy support to boost economic growth drove the mainland market higher. ** At the close of trade, the Hang Seng index was up 0.3 percent at 30,157.49, while the Hang Seng China Enterprises index rose 0.2 percent. ** The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares gained 0.3 percent, while the IT sector rose 1.2 percent, the financial sector ended 0.1 percent lower and the property sector climbed 0.6 percent. ** China will relax residency curbs in many of its smaller cities this year and increase infrastructure spending, the state planner said on Monday, in a fresh push to boost the urban population and revive slowing economic growth. ** The government aims to increase China’s urbanisation rate by at least 1 percentage point by the end of this year. In 2018, 59.6 percent of China’s population lived in urban areas. ** U.S. March inflation figures and minutes of the Federal Reserve’s last policy meeting are due to be released on Wednesday. Friday’s U.S. jobs report showed strong employment creation but subdued wages growth, backing the Fed’s recent dovish policy tilt. ** U.S. officials are “not satisfied yet” about all the issues standing in the way of a deal to end the U.S.-China trade war but made progress in talks with China last week, a top White House official said on Monday. ** The top gainer on the Hang Seng was Country Garden Holdings Co Ltd, which gained 5.7 percent, while the biggest loser was WH Group Ltd, which fell 2.5 percent. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.4 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 0.2 percent. ** China’s main Shanghai Composite index closed down 0.2 percent but the blue-chip CSI300 index ended up 0.5 percent. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.7132 per U.S. dollar at 08:20 GMT, 0.05 percent firmer than the previous close of 6.7165. ** About 2.11 billion Hang Seng index shares were traded. The volume traded in the previous session was 2.39 billion. ** China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 24.55 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. (Reporting by Noah Sin; Editing by Shreejay Sinha)

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