Friday, September 19, 2008

Hong Kong stocks close 9.61% higher

Hong Kong stocks staged a huge rally, up 1695.27 points, or 9.61 percent, to close at 19,327.73 Friday, following an overnight rally on Wall Street and rebound on Chinese mainland market Friday.

Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng Index opened sharply up 1,245.8points, or 7.07 percent, and finished the morning session by rising 1,146.57 points, or 6.50 percent, to 18,779.03. The index continued to add gains during the afternoon session, vibrating around 19000 level.

Turnover rose to 124.57 billion HK dollars , from Thursday's 102.23 billion HK dollars , which was above 100 billion HK dollars first time since May 7.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied 410.03 points or 3.86 percent overnight to close at 11,019.69, boasted on news that worldwide leading central banks launching measures to ease liquidity in strained markets.

Leading central banks, including the U.S. Federal Reserve, the Bank of Japan, the European Central Bank and the Bank of England, took a coordinated effort to ease strains in the financial markets, making hundreds of billions of U.S. dollars available to improve liquidity in the money markets.

Chinese share prices also opened sharply higher Friday morning, up more than 8 percent after the government decided overnight to scrap the stamp tax on stock purchase, in a move to boost the equities market after the stocks fell for third consecutive day since Tuesday. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index closed up nearly 9.46 percent, the biggest one-day percentage gain in seven years.

With the authorization of the State Council, China's Cabinet, the Ministry of Finance and the State Administration of Taxation said on Thursday they decided to cancel the share trading stamp tax on stock purchase, effective on Friday, while the stamp tax on share selling remained unchanged at 0.1 percent.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index closed down 0.03 percent Thursday after rebounding from the largest early intraday loss of 7.7 percent, encouraged by news that leading central banks launched a coordinated effort to ease liquidity in the financial markets. The stock market was also boosted during the afternoon session on news that the Hong Kong Monetary Authority attempted to ease the credit squeeze by injecting 1.56 billion HK dollars into the banking system.

Source: Xinhua

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