Energy shares lead HK stocks to end higher on firm oil prices
April 19, 2018 | 1:01 PM
by Reuters
A Hong Kong 10 dollar banknote, a U.S. 100 dollar banknote, and Chinese 100 Yuan banknotes are seen in this picture illustration. Photo: Reuters

Shanghai: Hong Kong stocks ended higher on Thursday, led by energy shares, after oil prices hit their highest since late 2014 as U.S. crude inventories declined and as top exporter Saudi Arabia pushes for higher rates by continuing to withhold supplies.

The Hang Seng index ended 1.4 per cent higher at 30,708.44 points, while the China Enterprises Index closed up 2.1 per cent at 12,239.84 points.

Energy shares jumped over 4 per cent in Hong Kong after a Reuters report that OPEC's new price hawk Saudi Arabia would be happy for crude to rise to $80 or even $100, a sign Riyadh will seek no changes to a supply-cutting deal even though the agreement's original target is within sight.

The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking IT sector rose 1.34 per cent, while the financial sector was 1.31 per cent higher and property sector rose 0.86 per cent. The top gainer on Hang Seng was WH Group Ltd up 6.51 percent, while the biggest loser was AIA Group Ltd , which slipped 0.87 per cent.

Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.91 per cent while Japan's Nikkei index closed up 0.15 per cent.

The yuan was quoted at 6.2761 per U.S. dollar at 0812 GMT, 0.03 percent weaker than the previous close of 6.2745.

As of previous session, the Hang Seng index was up 1.22 per cent this year, while China's H-share index was up 2.4 per cent. As of previous close, the Hang Seng has risen 0.63 per cent this month.

The top gainers among H-shares were Guangzhou Automobile Group Co Ltd up 6.05 per cent, followed by PetroChina Co Ltd gaining 5.69 per cent and China Shenhua Energy Co Ltd up by 4.45 per cent.

The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were Shenzhou International Group Holdings Ltd, which was down 2.94 per cent, Air China Ltd, which fell 1.4 per cent and China Gas Holdings Ltd that dropped 1.1 per cent.

About 2.29 billion Hang Seng index shares were traded, roughly 124.7 per cent of the market's 30-day moving average of 1.84 billion shares a day. The volume traded in the previous trading session was 2.06 billion.

At close, China's A-shares were trading at a premium of 21.58 per cent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares.

The price-to-earnings ratio of the Hang Seng index was 12.41 as of the last full trading day, while the dividend yield was 3.2 per cent.

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