Sun, Jan 28, 2018 - Page 14 News List

Hong Kong shares break record as others diverge


Asian stock markets ended Friday on a mixed note as they tried to recoup earlier losses in the week while the US dollar steadied against other currencies.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.62 percent to 187.22, up 1.9 from last week’s 183.60.

Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng index ended Friday at a record high, capping its seventh week of gains, amid optimism toward global economic recovery and accelerated money inflows from China.

At close of trade, the Hang Seng index was up 499.67 points, or 1.53 percent, at 33,154.12.

The Hang Seng China Enterprises index rose 2.51 percent to 13,723.96. The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares dipped 0.3 percent while the IT sector rose 2.37 percent, the financial sector was 2.22 percent higher and property sector rose 1.27 percent.

The top gainer on Hang Seng was China Construction Bank Corp (中國建設銀行), up 6.07 percent, while the biggest loser was Lenovo Group Ltd (聯想), which was down 1.27 percent.

China’s main Shanghai Composite index closed up 0.3 percent at 3,559 points while its blue-chip CSI300 index ended up 0.39 percent.

Tokyo stocks fell on late profit-taking on Friday, after the US President Donald Trump-fueled rally in the greenback fizzled out overnight, putting Japanese exporters under pressure.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 0.16 percent, or 37.61 points, to 23,631.88, leaving it down 0.74 percent over the week.

The TOPIX was down 0.27 percent or 5.17 points at 1,879.39. It lost 0.55 percent in the week.

The Nikkei opened higher after the US dollar bounced back on Trump’s comments favoring a strong US currency.

One day after US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin seemed to embrace a cheap US currency, Trump told CNBC that Mnuchin’s remarks had been taken out of context and restated the traditional US policy.

“Ultimately, I want to see a strong dollar,” Trump said, sparking a rally for the US currency, which had hit a three-year low against the euro earlier in the day.

The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange closed down 18.85 points, or 0.17 percent, at 11,147.10, slightly lower than last week’s 11,150.85 points.

South Korea’s KOSPI rose 0.5 percent to 2,574.76.

Stocks in Southeast Asia were mixed, while Australian markets were closed for a holiday.

Additional reporting by CNA and staff writer

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