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Monday, August 25, 2014, 16:21

HK main index closes at highest since May 2008, China down

By Reuters
HK main index closes at highest since May 2008, China down

This picture taken on August 23, 2014 shows a woman pointing towards commercial and residential buildings in Hong Kong. (Photo / AFP)

HONG KONG - Hong Kong's benchmark index finished at a new more-than-six-year high on Monday, reversing midday losses as financial and energy companies strengthened on corporate earnings.

The Hang Seng Index rose 0.2 percent to 25,166.91 points, its highest close since May 21, 2008. The China Enterprises Index of the leading offshore Chinese listings in Hong Kong added 0.5 percent.

Chinese oil firms were key outperformers, lifted by a 36 percent rise in second-quarter profit by Sinopec Corp, which climbed 4.3 percent.

CNOOC gained 1.2 percent and PetroChina 0.9 percent.

Some other H-shares were also boosted by good earnings. Sinopharm Group, China's largest drug distributor, rose 3.3 percent to a 17-month closing high.

Great Wall Motor spiked 3.7 percent despite a small drop in net profit during the first half of the year. Nomura said in a note on Monday that it maintains a "buy" rating for the stock in anticipation of improving sales that will regain investor confidence.

China's stock index futures closed lower on Monday, with the contract for September, the most actively traded, closing 0.84 percent lower at 2,348 points.

The October contract fell 0.82 percent to end at 2,355.4 points. The December contract retreated 0.70 percent to end at 2,370 points. The March 2015 contract closed 0.72 percent lower at 2,385.6 points.

The stock-index contracts, agreements to buy or sell the Hushen 300 Index at a preset value on an agreed date, are designed to allow investors to bet on and profit from either gains or declines in the market.

The index futures was launched at the China Financial Futures Exchange (CFFEX) and started trading from April 16, 2010. The CFFEX has set the base value for all the four contracts at 3,399 points.


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