Shares advance on banks

(China Daily HK Edition)
Updated: 2006-11-30 11:55

Hong Kong blue chips rose 0.8 per cent yesterday, recouping some of the previous day's sharp decline, as gains in HSBC and China Construction Bank eclipsed losses in China Mobile.

The index of Hong Kong-listed shares in mainland companies, or H shares, surged 3.3 per cent as mainland banks and insurers rebounded sharply and commodity plays gained as PetroChina rallied on higher crude prices.

"People are trying to screen out the stocks that can rebound the quickest," said Steve Cheng, associate director at Shenyin Wanguo.

Mainland lenders, Tuesday's biggest losers, were among Wednesday's top gainers, with the index of Hong Kong-listed mainland lenders and insurers racing up 3.6 per cent.

"The banks are regaining much of their losses," said Howard Gorges, vice-chairman of South China Brokerage. "These are still the big, liquid stocks that funds can go into."

The benchmark Hang Seng index added 141.40 points to close at 18,780.93 on turnover of HK$50.1 billion (US$6.4 billion) compared to Thursday's HK$58.9 billion.

China Construction Bank advanced nearly 6 per cent to HK$4.01.

Bank of China shot up almost 5 per cent to HK$3.73.

China Life jumped nearly 2 per cent to HK$18.7.

Global lender HSBC rose 0.7 per cent to HK$143.8.

China Mobile fell 0.3 per cent to HK$64.3, with some analysts saying the stock's softness was due to futures-related activities before its settlement later this week.

Resource stocks gained as higher crude prices lifted PetroChina 3.6 per cent to HK$9.6 and CNOOC Ltd climbed 1.8 per cent to HK$6.82.

Steel stocks rose amid easing oversupply in 2007 as the new steel capacity was likely to slow next year, UBS said.

Maanshan Iron & Steel Co Ltd rose 7.1 per cent to HK$3.61, earlier touching a two-and-a-half-year high. Angang New Steel Co Ltd leapt 5.2 per cent to HK$9.14.

Top Chinese cement producer Anhui Conch extended recent sharp gains, jumping a further 8.5 per cent to HK$23.55, earlier setting a fresh peak.

China National Building Material Co raced up 4.3 per cent to HK$4.85, after earlier edging past a peak set earlier this week.

Property stocks failed to get the widely expected bounce from the city's first major land auction in the fiscal year following its mixed results.

Cheung Kong climbed 0.7 per cent to HK$91.15. Sun Hung Kai rose 0.8 per cent to HK$87.6, though Sino Land leapt 1.8 per cent to HK$14.42.

Neo-China Group Holdings Ltd sank 12.2 per cent to HK$1.08 after selling 620 million new shares at HK$1.132 each, a term sheet said, equivalent to a discount of about 8 per cent below its last trading price before its shares were suspended from trade.

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