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Hong Kong stocks higher as oil, technology shares jump

Hong Kong stocks higher as oil, technology shares jump

HONG KONG: Hong Kong stocks rose on Thursday morning, driven by oil and technology firms, with the city’s benchmark index rising for an eighth day in a row.

The Hang Seng Index had gained 0.5 per cent, or 138.79 points, to 30,699.74 by noon, edging towards Wednesday’s intra-day high of 30,724, which marked the highest level in a decade. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index climbed 0.9 per cent, or 105.59 points, to 12,194.58.

“A weak dollar and strong yuan environment is conducive to bullish sentiment in stocks,” said Ben Kwong Man-bun, director of KGI Asia. “Today people are buying the oil and tech sectors.”

China’s yuan appreciated 6.8 per cent last year as the greenback slid because of expectations that US interest rates would stay relatively low. Minutes of the last Federal Reserve policy meeting showed the central bank would probably stick to gradual interest rate increases this year.

China’s first internet-only insurer, Zhongan Online, added 3.3 per cent to HK$74.75 by the midday break on Thursday, while China Literature, the country’s largest online publishing and e-book website, climbed 5.1 per cent to HK$88.90. “Stock king” Tencent added 1.6 per cent to HK$429. China’s largest contract chip maker, SMIC, shot up 5.11 per cent to HK$13.16.