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Monday, April 24, 2017, 16:41

Hong Kong stocks end higher

By Reuters

SHANGHAI - Hong Kong stocks rose on Monday, as concerns eased over political risk from the French presidential election after the market's favoured candidate made it through the first round of the French election.

Centrist Emmanuel Macron took a big step toward the presidency in France on Sunday by winning the first round of voting and qualifying for the May 7 runoff alongside far-right leader Marine Le Pen.

The outcome lessens the risk of an anti-establishment shock on the scale of Britain's vote to quit the European Union with Macron widely tipped to win the final vote and keep France in the union.

The Hang Seng index rose 0.4 percent, to 24,139.48, while the China Enterprises Index gained 0.6 percent, to 10,107.63 points.

Air China rallied 4.4 percent after it received the green light from Beijing to push ahead with mixed-ownership reform of its air freight logistics business.

Sector performance was mixed. Material stocks continued to drag amid sustained weakness in the commodities market.

Property and construction stocks also declined, led by China Resources Cement Holdings as more cities put curbs on home purchases.

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