March 6, 2017 / 8:17 AM / a year ago

Hong Kong stocks gain as China optimism offsets concern on US rates, N.Korea

March 6 (Reuters) - Hong Kong stocks edged up on Monday, aided by bullish sentiment about China, but gains were capped by growing expectations of a U.S. rate hike next week, and rising geopolitical tensions in Asia.

The Hang Seng index rose 0.2 percent, to 23,596.28, while the China Enterprises Index gained 0.3 percent, to 10,171.10 points.

Sentiment was lifted by a jump in technology shares after Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Sunday identified innovation as key to economic upgrading, when China’s annual National People’s Congress meeting opened.

Index heavyweight Tencent Holdings rose 1.1 percent.

However, the market erased some gains in afternoon trading on profit-taking, showing that confidence remains fragile.

Risk appetites were curbed by expectations of an increase in U.S. interest rates late next week, and mounting geopolitical tensions in East Asia, as North Korea fired four ballistic missiles early in the day, while a spat between China and South Korea over missile defence deepened. (Reporting by Samuel Shen and John Ruwitch; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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