Headline indices of the Hong Kong share market closed higher on Friday, 15 March 2019, as risk sentiments underpinned after Premier Li Keqiang vowed strong measures to boost slowing economic growth and as Beijing and Washington appeared to have made more progress in their trade talks. At closing bell, the Hang Seng Index advanced 160.87 points or 0.56% to 29,012.26. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index added 60.90 points or 0.53% to 11,508.17.
Investors chased for value buying as Premier Li Keqiang pledged not to let economic growth fall below a reasonable range. China will not let economic growth slip out of a reasonable range amid downward pressure on its economy, Li said on Friday at a press conference marking the end of the annual meeting of the National People's Congress. The Chinese premier pledged strong measures to support growth, saying that the government could use tools such as reserve requirements and interest rates. Li added that China would cut value-added tax (VAT) for manufacturing and other sectors on April 1 and social security fees from May 1. Li's comments at the close of the annual parliament meeting came a day after China lowered its growth target to 6 to 6.5 percent for 2019, down from around 6.5 percent last year.
On the trade front, the Congress, China's parliament, voted on Friday to approve a new foreign investment law, which is designed to ease foreign concerns about China's investment environment, especially as China and the United States work to try to end a trade war. Chinese Vice Premier Liu He spoke by telephone with U.
S. TreasurySecretary Steven Mnuchin and U. S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, making further substantive progress on trade talks, as per reports.
Blue chips rose across the board. Tencent (00700) advanced 0.4% to HK$359. HSBC (00005) nudged up 0.3% to HK$64.85. HKEX (00388) gained 1.8% to HK$277.2. China Mobile (00941) added 0.5% to HK$85.95. AIA (01299) edged down 0.3% to HK$78.5.
Macau gaming counters were higher after the Macau government said it has extended the gaming concessions of SJM Holdings and MGM China Holdings to 26 June 2022.. Galaxy Entertainment (00027) shot up 2.6% to HK$52.9. Melco International Development (00200) ascended 2.3% to HK$17.7. SJM Holdings (00880) rose 1.6% to HK$8.83. Wynn Macau (01128) gained 3.6% to HK$18.36. Sands China (01928) surged 3.1% to HK$38.3. MGM China (02282) put on 3.5% to HK$15.2.
Sunny Optical (02382) shot up 5.1% to HK$96.15 after BofAML's upgrade. AAC Technologies (02018) edged up 0.6% to HK$45.5. Lenovo Group (00992) added 1.3% to HK$6.82. BYD Electronic (00285) rose 0.8% to hK$9.91.
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