February 8, 2017 / 8:20 AM / a year ago

Hong Kong stocks get boost from China property developers, brokers

Feb 8 (Reuters) - Hong Kong stocks erased early losses and closed at 3-1/2-month highs on Wednesday, boosted by shares of China property developers and brokers.

The benchmark Hang Seng index ended up 0.7 percent at 23,485.13 points, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index gained 1.1 percent to 9,955.34.

An index tracking mainland real estate stocks added 5.6 percent, clocking its best one-day gain in 11 months.

Heavyweight developer China Vanke Co Ltd jumped 3.8 percent after it reported January sales grew nearly 90 percent, compared with the same period last year.

Sentiment was also lifted by rising capital inflows from investors in mainland China.

More than 14 percent of the daily southbound quota on the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect was used on Wednesday, compared with 20 percent on Tuesday and an average of nearly 11 percent in January.

The financial sector rose 1.1 percent to its highest level since last September, and its highest close since late 2015, thanks to strength in mainland China brokerages after they published mixed results for January.

Guotai Junan International Holdings Ltd and Haitong International Securities Group Ltd rallied 4.6 percent and 6.7 percent, respectively.

Most sectors gained ground, but energy stocks slid as oil prices extended Tuesday’s losses after the United States reported growing crude stockpiles.

Reporting by Jackie Cai and John Ruwitch; Editing by Kim Coghill

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