March 7, 2017 / 8:21 AM / in a year

Hong Kong stocks firm on tech share strength and property rebound

SHANGHAI, March 7 (Reuters) - Hong Kong stocks were firm on Tuesday, as Chinese Internet giant Tencent led tech shares higher for the second day, after Beijing identified the sector as key to China’s economic restructuring.

Sentiment was also lifted by a sharp rebound in rate-sensitive property stocks, as investors regained their composure after a sell-off on Monday triggered by the prospect of a U.S. interest rate hike next week.

The Hang Seng index rose 0.4 percent, to 23,681.07, while the China Enterprises Index gained 0.6 percent, to 10,229.68 points.

With mainland firms accounting for heavy weighting in Hang Seng, the market has been resilient in light of increasing signs that China’s economy is recovering.

A flurry of data in coming weeks is expected to show China posted solid economic growth in February, even as the government trimmed its growth target for the year to focus on containing the risks from a rapid build-up in debt.

This has helped counter worries from a looming U.S. rate hike - Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen hinted last Friday that the central bank will raise interest rates at its next meeting that begins March 14.

Index heavyweight Tencent was firm, helping fuel a 1.1 percent gain in the IT index.

Property shares bounced sharply, rising nearly 3 percent. (Reporting by Samuel Shen and John Ruwitch; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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