January 5, 2017 / 8:25 AM / 2 years ago

Hong Kong stocks have solid rise on Fed minutes and commodities

Jan 5 (Reuters) - Hong Kong stocks, joining an Asia-wide rally, had their biggest gain in eight weeks on Thursday, a day on which the offshore yuan’s surge against the dollar stole the spotlight.

Resource shares helped lift the Hong Kong market, where stocks finished at a three-week high.

The Hang Seng index rose 1.5 percent, to 22,456.69 points, its best day since Nov. 10, while the China Enterprises Index gained 1.7 percent, to 9,598.68 points.

Minutes from the Federal Reserve’s December meeting showed that almost all Fed policymakers thought the U.S. economy could grow more quickly after Donald Trump becomes president.

“The minutes sent a message that the Fed stays relatively prudent toward interest rate hikes, which lifted interest rate-sensitive stocks such as China Mobile,” said Alex Wong, Hong Kong-based director at Ample Finance Group.

Wong noted U.S. dollar weakness and a U.S. Treasuries rebound added to Hong Kong’s stock rally.

The market also drew some support from improved conditions in Hong Kong’s private sector as reflected by the Nikkei Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which in December recorded the first expansion in 22 months.

All sectors advanced in the city, led by energy and raw materials stocks, which added 2.9 percent and 2.3 percent respectively. (Reporting by Jackie Cai and John Ruwitch; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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