HONG KONG, Sept 17 (Reuters) - Hong Kong’s benchmark index closed higher for the first time in nine sessions on Wednesday, tracking gains in U.S. markets on speculation the Federal Reserve would maintain a pledge on low rates when a two-day policy meeting ends later in the day.
Strength in China’s top five banks also lent support to index gains, after media reports said the country’s central bank is injecting a combined 500 billion yuan ($81.42 billion) of liquidity into these major lenders.
The Hang Seng Index ended up 1.0 percent at 24,376.41 points, while the China Enterprises Index of the leading offshore Chinese listings in Hong Kong rose 1.6 percent, as both bounced off 8-week lows.
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China climbed 2.0 percent, while Bank of Communications leapt 2.3 percent.
Sands China and Galaxy Entertainment Group were the biggest drags on the Hang Seng, shedding 3.9 and 2.6 percent, respectively.
In a research note on Tuesday, Barclays said it expected a 16.2 percent decrease in the Macau gaming sector’s gross revenue for September and that weak trends could continue for the rest of the year.
$1 = 6.1412 Chinese yuan Reporting by Grace Li; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore