Hong Kong Stocks Swing To Gains Before China Data

Hong Kong stocks shook off opening losses and nudged higher Thursday morning, with China due to release its retail sales and industrial output data later in the day. The Hang Seng Index inched up 0.1%. Over on the Chinese mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.4%. Major Chinese banks advanced broadly, with China Merchants Bank Co. rising 1.1%, Bank of China Ltd. up 1%, and China Citic Bank Corp. adding 0.8%. BOC Hong Kong Holdings Ltd. [HK:2388], a subsidiary of Bank of China and the sole clearing bank for Hong Kong's yuan transactions, climbed 1.3% after Hong Kong authorities said the city would lift the current 20,000 yuan ($3,200) daily conversion limit for residents starting Monday. The move is aimed at facilitating the Hong Kong-Shanghai Stock Connect program, also scheduled to launch Monday. Meanwhile, BOC Hong Kong's rivals traded mixed, as HSBC Holdings PLC fell 0.5%, Dah Sing Banking Group Ltd. dipped 0.2%, but Bank of East Asia Ltd. gained 0.3%, and Standard Chartered PLC moved up 0.2%.

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