Hong Kong shares post best month since 2012 as proeprty extends rally
HONG KONG, July 31 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares posted their best monthly performance since 2012 on Thursday, though gains for the day were capped by weakness in a few Chinese heavyweight companies.
The Hang Seng Index closed up 0.1 percent at 24,756.85 points, its eighth straight winning session.
The China Enterprises Index of the leading offshore Chinese listings in Hong Kong also edged up 0.1 percent.
Both indexes posted their third monthly gain in a row, with the benchmark index up 6.8 percent and the HSCE 7.7 percent.
July was the best month for the Hang Seng since September 2012 and for the H-share index since January 2012.
Hong Kong-listed Chinese property developers led gains. The sector has rallied strongly in recent weeks on expectations that more local governments in China will relax restrictions on home purchases in a bid to avert a sharper correction in the cooling property market.
China Resources Land climbed 3.6 percent after Barclays upgraded the developer to "overweight" from "equalweight". China Overseas Land & Investment surged 4.6 percent.
In a research note on Thursday, Barclays said they "believe the sector rally has further to go," but "expect only the quality developers to continue to outperform, as they gain market share."
The biggest drag on both indexes was PetroChina, which sank 2.5 percent, sliding further from a more than 16-month high last week. (Reporting by Grace Li; Editing by Kim Coghill)
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