* Hang Seng adds 0.4%, H-shares up 0.4%
* Reuters poll shows China economy on slow road to recovery
* Asian markets up as oil prices rebound, U.S. vows spending
HONG KONG, April 23 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares edged higher for a second session on Thursday, tracking the rebound in global markets as oil prices bounced from historic lows and expectations that China’s economy is slowly recovering. ** At the close of trade, the Hang Seng index was up 0.4% at 23,977.32. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index also rose 0.4%. ** The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares rose 1.3%, the IT sector was flat, the financial sector inched 0.1% lower and the property sector added 1.1%. ** The top gainer on the Hang Seng was Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd, which gained 3.6%, while the biggest loser was Shenzhou International Group Holdings Ltd, which fell 1.7%. ** The Chinese economy will slowly recover from its first quarterly contraction since current records began, economists predicted in a Reuters poll, but they warned of a likely recession if conditions worsen again from the global coronavirus pandemic.
** The poll found China’s gross domestic product (GDP) was expected to grow just 1.3% in the current quarter from a year earlier, after contracting 6.8% in January-March. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.5%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 1.5%.
** Asian markets rose as crude prices rebounded from historic lows and the U.S. government promised more aid to cushion the coronavirus-ravaged economy. ** The Hong Kong Monetary Authority intervened and sold HK$1.82 billion ($234.81 million) of local currency in New York trading hours after the Hong Kong Dollar hit the strong side of its 7.75-7.85 per U.S. dollar trading band. ** About 1.81 billion Hang Seng index shares were traded. The volume traded in the previous trading session was 1.67 billion. ** At close, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 27.15% over Hong Kong-listed H-shares. ($1 = 7.7511 Hong Kong dollars) (Reporting by Noah Sin; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)