Hong Kong stocks rise to near 10-yr high; financials up, but Macau casinos stumble

Hong Kong stocks rise to near 10-yr high; financials up, but Macau casinos stumble

HONG KONG, Oct 6 (Reuters) – Hong Kong stocks extended gains to edge closer to 10-year highs on Friday, underpinned by Chinese automakers and financials though early strength was pared off by the afternoon.

Taking its cue from Wall Street, the blue chip Hang Seng index opened at 28,626.41, its highest since December 2007, but pulled back to 28,480.51 points by the lunch break to be up 0.36 percent. The index was heading for the biggest weekly percentage gain in 12 weeks.

The Hong Kong China Enterprises Index climbed 0.73 percent to 11,480.88 at midday after it hit 11,538.51, the highest since August 2015.

“Participants were cautious after recent gains in many sectors, but players’ positioning for the current quarter might give support to the stocks like Chinese automakers and financials,” said Steven Leung, a director at UOB Kay Hian.

Analysts said the latest reduction in the reserve requirement ratio (RRR) in the mainland provided more support to micro and small enterprises, and would benefit more banks than before.

Chinese insurer Ping An rose 1.6 percent, Bank of Communications climbed 1.4 percent and mainland property developer China Vanke jumped 3.07 percent.

Chinese automakers remained strong with Geely Auto rising 5.4 percent to a record high, while BYD Company leapt 2.2 percent.

Macau casinos stocks fell after the tourism bureau reported a 2 percent year-on-year fall in visitors during the first four days of China’s national holiday week.

Shares of Sands China fell 3.6 percent, Wynn Macau slid 3 percent, and Galaxy Entertainment dropped 2.6 percent.

Chinese markets have been shut all this week for the holiday and will not resume trade until Oct. 9. ($1 = 6.6533 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Donny Kwok; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)