Stocks up, H shares hit record

(China Daily HK Edition)
Updated: 2006-11-23 10:25

Hong Kong blue chips rebounded 0.3 per cent yesterday as HSBC led the way to recoup some of the previous session's losses, while investors chased BOC Hong Kong and other recent underperformers.

Gains in China Construction Bank offset losses in some of its peers to help Hong Kong-listed shares in mainland companies, or H shares, rise 0.5 per cent to a record

closing high of 8,325.33.

The benchmark Hang Seng index rose 53.67 points to close at 19,008.30 on a turnover of HK$41.2 billion (US$5.1 billion), compared to Monday's HK$49.1 billion.

"People are focusing on the laggards," said Tat Auyeung, fund manager at Apex Capital Management. "At the same time, they're selective in the (mainland) banks."

For now, the market may be trapped below the key 19,000 level.

"The short-term trend is that the Hang Seng index will still face selling pressure above 19,000," said Kenny Tang, associate director at Tung Tai Securities.

HSBC Holdings Plc gained ground after falling nearly 1 per cent on Monday, rising 0.5 per cent to HK$146.6. BOC Hong Kong (Holdings) gained 1.1 per cent to HK$18.24.

Blue-chip property developer Cheung Kong, which is also trailing the broad market, rose 1.3 per cent to HK$90.05.

Having undergone a recent correction, mainland property stocks were in favour. Shimao Property Holdings jumped 4.4 per cent to HK$11.9, earlier touching a record. Greentown China Holdings Ltd also touched a record before ending up 3.5 per cent to HK$11.80.

China Resources Land Ltd surged nearly 7 per cent to HK$7.26, earlier setting a new high, after saying it would pay HK$2.73 billion (US$350 million) to add to its land bank in Beijing and Chengdu.

Some mainland lenders extended their recent run, with China Construction Bank gaining 1.5 per cent to HK$4.16, but others like China Merchants Bank fell to profit-taking. The mainland's sixth-largest lender shed 1.3 per cent to HK$15.78.

Esprit Holdings, which derives the bulk of its sales from Europe, was the top-gaining blue chip, jumping 2 per cent to HK$81.25 on the strong euro, earlier tapping an all-time high.

Shares in paper manufacturers shined, with Nine Dragons Paper

Holdings Ltd soaring 9.4 per cent to HK$13.46 in heavy trade, earlier hitting a new high, amid market talk that China's largest paper maker was set to build another plant, raising its output.

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