Hong Kong Stocks Edge Higher Ahead Of China Data

MarketWatch Pulse

Hong Kong stocks nosed higher Thursday ahead of Chinese industrial-profit data for last month. The Hang Seng Index rose 0.2%. Chinese insurers jumped after Shanghai announced new policies to support the insurance sector and vowed to develop a modern insurance-service system and build the city into an international insurance center by 2020. China Life Insurance Co. jumped 3.2%, PICC Property & Calsualty Co. climbed 2.4%, China Pacific Insurance Group Co. gained 2.3%, and Ping An Insurance Group Co. advanced 2%. Energy stocks traded mixed after falling hard the previous day on the back of declining international crude prices. Cnooc Ltd. lost 0.8%, while China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., or Sinopec, rebounded 1.2%, and PetroChina Co. recovered 1%. The tech sector suffered wide losses, with online-game developer Baioo Family Interactive down 2.5%, rival Forgame Holdings Ltd. off 1.3%, and software developer Kingsoft Corp. lower by 0.5%. Tencent Holdings Ltd. , the Hang Seng Index's lone Internet-share component, gave up 0.8%. Over on the Chinese mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index tacked on 0.6%.

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