February 21, 2018 / 8:29 AM / a year ago

Hong Kong stocks end firmer, H-shares rise ahead of China reopening

* Hang Seng index ends up 1.8 pct

* China Enterprises index HSCE rises 2.3 pct

* HSI financial sub-index is 2 pct higher; property up 1.4 pct

HONG KONG, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Hong Kong’s main Hang Seng index ended firmer on Wednesday, tracking gains in Asian markets and ahead of the reopening of mainland China markets the next day. China’s H-shares index also closed up. ** At close of trade, the Hang Seng index was up 558.26 points or 1.81 percent at 31,431.89. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index rose 2.34 percent to 12,686.88. ** China stock markets will reopen on Thursday after the Lunar New Year holiday. ** The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares rose 2.5 percent while the IT sector rose 2.37 percent, the financial sector was 1.97 percent higher and property sector rose 1.37 percent. ** The top gainer on Hang Seng was Country Garden Holdings Co Ltd up 5.6 percent, while the biggest loser was Wharf Holdings Ltd which was down 0.17 percent. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.81 percent while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 0.21 percent. ** As of the previous trading session, the Hang Seng index was up 3.19 percent this year, while China’s H-share index was up 5.9 percent. As of the previous close, the Hang Seng has declined 6.12 percent this month. ** The top gainers among H-shares were Agricultural Bank of China Ltd up 4.18 percent, followed by China Citic Bank Corp Ltd gaining 3.81 percent, and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp up 3.72 percent. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were Anhui Conch Cement Co Ltd which fell 0.6 percent, SINOPHARM Group Co Ltd which was down 0.3 percent, and Air China Ltd down by 0.2 percent. ** About 1.99 billion Hang Seng index shares were traded, roughly 64.3 percent of the market’s 30-day moving average of 3.10 billion shares a day. The volume traded in the previous trading session was 2.10 billion. ** The price-to-earnings ratio of the Hang Seng index was 14 as of the last full trading day while the dividend yield was 2.8 percent. ** The short and one-factor leveraged Hang Seng index, which is designed to replicate the payoff of a short or leveraged portfolio and is linked to the movements of the Hang Seng Index, was lower by 1.81 percent on the day at 4,663.84 points. (Reporting by Donny Kwok; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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