Hong Kong Stocks Creep Higher Ahead Of Holiday

Hong Kong stocks wandered a little higher Wednesday morning in quiet trade, with the market due to close at midday for the start of the Lunar New Year holiday. The Hang Seng Index added 0.2%, with Shanghai and other mainland China markets already closed for the week. Energy shares were among the stand-outs, as oil futures extended their recent rebound overnight. Shares of Cnooc Ltd. rose 1.3%, while PetroChina Co. improved by 1.8% and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (a.k.a. Sinopec) climbed 2.7%. Stock in MGM China Holdings Ltd. added 1.9% after it reported drops in quarterly revenue and profit, but at least said full-year pre-tax earnings rose mildly. Other casino names also advanced, with index components Sands China Ltd. and Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd. up 1% and 0.8%, respectively, while Wynn Macau Ltd. rose 1.7%. On the downside, news that financial-services company Get Nice Holdings Ltd. was planning a discounted rights issue (21% below its last close) sent that stock plunging 8.5%.

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