August 18, 2016 / 8:22 AM / 2 years ago

Hong Kong stocks rise, betting on IT stocks begins ahead of Shenzhen link launch

SHANGHAI, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares followed Asian markets higher on Thursday as minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s latest meeting showed that the chances of a September interest rate hike appear slim.

The market was also bolstered by investors seeking to front-run expected fresh inflows from the upcoming Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect.

The Hang Seng index rose 1 percent to 23,023.16 points, while the China Enterprises Index edge up 0.1 percent to 9,654.69.

A launch date for the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Connect has yet to be announced, but the Hong Kong exchange operator hopes it can kick off before Christmas.

Traders say while much of the impact of the scheme has already been priced in, expectations of fresh money inflows from the mainland could still help bolster Hong Kong stocks for a some time.

Most sectors rose, with IT stocks, which will directly benefit from the Connect, surging over 4 percent. (Reporting by Samuel Shen and Pete Sweeney; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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