Hong Kong stocks opened higher on Friday, the first trading day of the new year, despite China's official manufacturing-activity report showing further weakness in December. The Hang Seng Index rose 0.3%. A day earlier, official data showed the government-sponsored version of China's Purchasing Managers Index slipped to 50.1 in December from 50.3 in November, marking the third straight month of decline. Among the major movers, meanwhile, mainland Chinese real-estate shares posed broad-based advances, as analysts expected the central bank to continue to inject liquidity into the markets into the new year in order to boost growth. Sunac China Holdings Ltd. surged 5.5%, Poly Property Group Co. rallied 4.7%, China Overseas Land & Investment Ltd. advanced 4.1%, and China Resources Land Ltd. rose 3.7%. Major mainland banks also gained across the board, with both China Minsheng Banking Corp. and Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. climbing 1.8% each, China Construction Bank Corp. rising 1.7%, and Bank of China Ltd. adding 1.4%. Among other market movers, China Southern Airlines Co. fell 1.4%, failing to get traction from news its 2014 passenger total exceeded 100 million, up almost 10% from the previous year. Shanghai markets were closed on Friday for the extended New Year's Day holiday.
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