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Hong Kong stocks surge as investors focus on China's market reforms and stimulus measures

Hong Kong stocks surge as investors focus on China's market reforms and stimulus measures


Hong Kong's stock market posted its biggest gain in more than three months, boosted by financial market reforms announced at the Lujiazui Financial Forum in Shanghai on Wednesday.

The Hang Seng Index rose 2.9% to close at 18,430.39, its highest since March 12. The technology index rose 3.7%, while the Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.4%.

Announcing new measures to reform the star market in a keynote speech at the two-day Lujiazui Financial Forum, Wu Qing, chairman of the China Securities Market Regulatory Commission, said the reforms would focus on underwriting, mergers, equity incentives and trading to promote technological innovation.

This added to optimism following an overnight rally on Wall Street that saw the S&P 500 and Nasdaq hit new highs on the artificial intelligence (AI) boom and made Nvidia the world's most valuable company.

AI-related stock Lenovo Group rose 9 percent to HK$12.08. Morgan Stanley analysts said Lenovo is likely to be the biggest beneficiary of Asia's AI PC boom. HSBC raised its target price for Lenovo to HK$13.50 from HK$11.70, in a May note, predicting higher adoption of AI PCs. Chinese AI chipmaker SenseTime rose 6.7 percent to HK$1.43.

Geely Automobile's Zhikar 001 electric car is displayed at the Zhikar Center in Shanghai, China, Saturday, May 11, 2024. Photo: Bloomberg

Jason Chan, senior investment strategist at Bank of East Asia, said the reforms announced at the Lujiazui Forum today are favorable for foreign funds to enter the stock market as policy measures focus on protecting investors' rights and interests and improving the quality of listed companies.

He added that China's policy emphasis on developing the technology sector will also benefit Hong Kong's technology and AI stocks.Smartphone maker Xiaomi rose 6.3% to HK$18.48, while Bilibili rose 19% to HK$144.3 after its new game received positive market reaction.

But the STAR Market fell 0.7 percent after the Lujiazui forum announcement, as investors may be concerned about increased scrutiny of listed companies and pressure to delist, according to Zhang.

Geely Auto rose 3.9 percent to HK$9.23 after HSBC said Geely Auto's sales last month beat expectations, helped by a strong EV product cycle. Chinese property developer Longfu Motor rose 4 percent to HK$12.02 after the company said at its annual general meeting on Tuesday that its total debt was steadily decreasing as net cash flow turned positive.

Traders are optimistic of further policy support as the world's second-largest economy remains under pressure following shaky economic data released earlier this week.

Daniel Tang, portfolio manager at Grasshopper Asset Management, said China is prioritizing efforts to end the recession that has weighed on the economy for the past three years, and regulatory policies announced in May and June have been broadly favorable for the property sector.

Other major Asian markets were mostly higher: Japan's Nikkei rose 0.2% and South Korea's KOSPI rose 1.2%, while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.1%.




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