Hong Kong Stocks Join Regional Rally

MarketWatch Pulse

Hong Kong stocks joined the rest of Asia in solid gains early Monday, with the Hang Seng Index up 1%, and the mainland-China-tracking Hang Seng China Enterprises Index higher by 1.5%. The advance came despite a number of event risks lurking later in the week, including talks slated for Tuesday between protesters and the Hong Kong government. The closely watched real-estate sector was broadly higher, with China Overseas Land & Investment Ltd. up 2.6%, Sunac China Holdings Ltd. up 1.7%, and Agile Property Holdings Ltd. up 1.8%. With The Wall Street Journal reporting that China's central bank is planning to inject 200 billion yuan ($33 billion) into the banking system, mainland Chinese lenders saw some gains, with China Merchants Bank Co. up 1.4%, Bank of Communications Co. up 1.5%, and Agricultural Bank of China Ltd. up 1.2%. In the wake of Friday's China launch of Apple Inc.'s latest iPhone, the Big Three telecoms all climbed, as China Mobile Ltd. added 1.7%, China Telecom Corp. rose 1.9%, and China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd. improved by 1.2%. Shares of AIA Group rose 1.5% after Asia's second-largest insurer said Friday its third-quarter new business had increased 23%. Among the decliners, Hong Kong Exchange & Clearing Ltd. slipped 0.2% amid uncertainty over when the Hong Kong and Shanghai bourses will begin allowing cross-trading of each other's shares, a move originally slated for this month that would allow foreign individual investors to buy mainland Chinese stock for the first time. The Shanghai Composite Index meanwhile, added 0.3%, lagging its Hong Kong peer ahead of a raft of Chinese economic data, including gross domestic product, due out Tuesday.

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