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Wednesday, January 20, 2021, 17:00
Hang Seng hovers near 30,000 in best start to year since 1985
By Bloomberg
Wednesday, January 20, 2021, 17:00 By Bloomberg

People look at the city's skyline from a viewing terrace at Victoria Peak in Hong Kong, China, on Feb 3, 2020. (PHOTO / BLOOMBERG)

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index hovered just under the 30,000-point level on Wednesday as mainland traders continued to flood the market with cash.

The benchmark closed up 1.1 percent to 29,962.47 points, with an intraday high just 6.5 points shy of reaching the milestone last seen in May 2019. The index was given a boost in the afternoon after Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. co-founder Jack Ma resurfaced. He had been out of public view for months, and his appearance on a livestream sent shares of the tech company up as much as 11 percent, the most since July.

The equity gauge’s rally comes a day after it closed at the highest level in 20 months. Its best start to a year since 1985 has been fueled by mainland investors shifting into more attractively valued Hong Kong-listed stocks -- net purchasing a record US$3.4 billion on Tuesday.

Round numbers matter in Hong Kong as equity-linked products tend to be marketed at key levels. A surge above the looming milestone may lead to more gains for the Hang Seng Index should some traders exercise their right to buy the underlying in Hong Kong’s popular derivatives market.

ALSO READ: HK stocks at 20-month high as record mainland cash floods in

“The upward trend will continue but with certain fluctuations,” said Daniel So, Hong Kong-based strategist at CMB International Securities Ltd. So predicted the index could jump another 1,000 points if the 30,000 level is reached.

READ MORE: HK stocks climb to 1-year closing high on upbeat data

Mainland traders bought a net HK$20.3 billion (US$2.6 billion) of Hong Kong stocks on Wednesday, making it the 13th straight session in which that buying has exceeded HK$10 billion. Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd, the biggest beneficiary of such funds flowing into the city, climbed 1.2 percent to a fresh record high.

Stocks on the mainland also rose, with the CSI 300 Index closing up 0.7 percent and the tech-heavy ChiNext Index advancing 3.9 percent.

The southbound daily quota for the two trading links with Shanghai and Shenzhen is 42 billion yuan (US$6.5 billion) each.

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