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Monday, August 19, 2019, 17:56
HK stocks see best session in two months on mainland's rate reform
By Reuters
Monday, August 19, 2019, 17:56 By Reuters

SHANGHAI - Hong Kong stocks climbed more than 2% on Monday amid a broad upbeat investor mood, posting their best session in two months, bolstered by Beijing's reforms to help steer borrowing costs lower for companies and support businesses. 

Hopes major economies will seek to prop up slowing growth with fresh stimulus have helped ease some of the recessionary fears unleashed in markets last week. 

The Hang Seng index ended up 2.2% at 26,291.84, while the China Enterprises Index gained 1.5% at 10,109.15. 

Both indexes were up for a fourth session in a row. 

China's central bank - the People's Bank of China - unveiled a key interest rate reform on Saturday to help steer borrowing costs lower for companies and support a slowing economy that has been hurt by the trade war with the United States. 

The move, widely seen as a guided rate cut, came after Beijing's latest plan to spur private consumption to shore up growth. 

That also followed Hong Kong government's announcement of a HK$19.1 billion (US$2.44 billion) package on Thursday to support a slowing economy hurt by protests and protracted US-China trade tension. 

Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 1.09%, while Japan's Nikkei index closed 0.71% firmer. 

The yuan was quoted at 7.0446 per US dollar at 0819 GMT, 0.04% weaker than the previous close of 7.042. 

The top gainers among H-shares were Haitong Securities Co Ltd , which closed up 6.41%, followed by Country Garden Holdings Co Ltd, which ended 6.03% firmer and CITIC Securities Co Ltd, which closed up by 5.87%. 

The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were ENN Energy Holdings Ltd, which ended down 5.21%, China Telecom Corp Ltd, which closed 1.67% lower and China Shenhua Energy Co Ltd, down by 1.40%. 

About 2.14 billion Hang Seng index shares were traded, roughly 144.3% of the market's 30-day moving average of 1.49 billion shares a day. The volume traded in the previous trading session was 2.02 billion. 

At close, Chinese mainland's A-shares were trading at a premium of 31.14% over Hong Kong-listed H-shares. (US$1 = 7.8436 Hong Kong dollars)

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