Energy leads Hong Kong stocks higher on pandemic recovery signs

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HONG KONG — Hong Kong shares settled higher on Tuesday, with energy stocks leading the gains on signs of recovery from the coronavirus pandemic as major economies around the world reopen.

** The Hang Seng index closed up 199.60 points, or 0.7%, at 28,557.14, snapping two straight sessions of decline. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index rose 0.49% to 10,765.72.

** The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares rose 2.3%, while the IT sector edged up 0.05%, the financial sector climbed 0.78% and the property sector gained 0.52%. The tech index was up 0.68%.

** Oil prices rose in early trade, buoyed as more U.S. states eased lockdowns and the European Union sought to attract more travelers. However, crude oil reversed gains later in the day amid concerns over fuel demand in India as COVID-19 cases soar.

** The Hang Seng’s positive performance came after the index shed about 1,000 points over the last two sessions, but investors were not seen chasing the market, traders said.

** Chinese financial and futures markets are closed from May 1-5 for the Labour Day holiday.

** The top gainer on the Hang Seng was China Petroleum & Chemical Corp, which rose 4.08%, while the biggest loser was China Construction Bank Corp, which fell 0.82%.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.16%.

** The top gainers among H-shares were China Petroleum & Chemical Corp, up 4.08%, followed by ENN Energy Holdings Ltd, gaining 3.27%, and ANTA Sports Products Ltd, up by 3.11%.

** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were Baidu Inc, which was down 1.47%, Hansoh Pharmaceutical Group Company Ltd, which fell 1.03%, and China Construction Bank Corp, down by 0.82%. (Reporting by Donny Kwok; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)