The Hong Kong stock market finished session edged higher on Wednesday, 20 May 2020, as optimism over the global economic outlook amid further easing of lockdown measures offset by profit booking after skeptical reports undermined some hopes for a COVID-19 vaccine and escalating tensions between the US and China. At closing bell, the benchmark Hang Seng Index edged up 0.05%, or 11.82 points, to 24,399.95. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index rose 0.15%, or 14.63 points, to 9,898.
Investors pushed stocks higher in early trading on optimism over the global economic outlook amid further easing of lockdown measures, ignoring the overnight declines on Wall Street and pessimism over insufficient data from the trials of a coronavirus vaccine.
The sentiment changed midmorning as investors weighed the impact of the city's rising unemployment rate on the coronavirus-hit economy and escalating tensions between the US and China.
Gaming stocks rose after the Macau government announced a plan to revive the city's tourism industry hit by the Covid-19 outbreak. Galaxy Entertainment rose 1.8% and Sands China added 0.8%.
China Metal Resources Utilization, a Chinese manufacturer of recycled copper, jumped 10.7% after issuing a clarification statement to refute an activist short seller's allegations that it is a zombie company at risk of bankruptcy.
Hong Kong's jobless rate rose for a seventh straight month as the coronavirus pandemic continued to hammer businesses across the city. The unemployment rate stood at 5.2% for the February to April period - the highest level since October 2009.
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