February 21, 2018 / 4:34 AM / a year ago

Hong Kong stocks rise, China's H-shares climb

* Hang Seng index rises 0.9 pct

* China Enterprises index HSCE surges 1.4 pct

* HSI financial sub-index climbs 1.1 pct; property up 0.4 pct

HONG KONG, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng index rose by midday on Wednesday, tracking gains in Asian markets, and China’s H-shares index also climbed. ** By the lunch break, the Hang Seng index was up 279.76 points or 0.91 percent at 31,153.39. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index rose 1.41 percent to 12,572.09.

** China stock markets will reopen on Thursday after the Lunar New Year holiday. ** The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares rose 1.3 percent while the IT sector rose 1.1 percent, the financial sector was 1.11 percent higher and property sector rose 0.36 percent. ** The top gainer on Hang Seng was Want Want China Holdings Ltd up 3.18 percent, while the biggest loser was Wharf Real Estate Investment Co Ltd which was down 0.79 percent. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.46 percent while Japan’s Nikkei index eased 0.16 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, hammered by a brief but violent global equity sell-off. ** The top gainers among H-shares were Agricultural Bank of China Ltd up 2.78 percent, followed by China Citic Bank Corp Ltd gaining 2.77 percent and Bank of Communications Co Ltd up by 2.25 percent. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were Guangzhou Automobile Group Co Ltd which was down 0.8 percent, Anhui Conch Cement Co Ltd which fell 0.7 percent and Air China Ltd down by 0.54 percent. ** About 683.61 million Hang Seng index shares were traded, roughly 22 percent of the market’s 30-day moving average of 3.10 billion shares a day. ** 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 0.91 percent on the day at 4,706.78 points. (Reporting by Donny Kwok; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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