Hong Kong stocks ended higher on Friday as signs of the strengthening economy in the United States encouraged a year-end rally in the stock markets.
Hong Kong stocks rose 250.94 points or 1.37 percent to close at 18,629.17 on Friday. The benchmark Hang Seng Index traded between 18,539.59 and 18,636.75. Turnover totaled 28.09 billion HK dollars (about 3.61 billion U.S. dollars).
The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index gained 188.04 points, or 1.89 percent, to close at 10,132.66.
Four sub-indices all gained ground, with the Properties sub- index rising the most by 1.82 percent, followed by the Commerce and Industry 1.41 percent, the Finance 1.34 percent, and the Utility 0.59 percent.
Wall Street stocks had risen for a third straight day on Thursday, after data showed the new claims for unemployment benefit dropped to the lowest in 3.5 years, and an improvement in the U.S. consumer sentiment to the highest level in six months also helped.
The HSBC, Europe's largest lender, rose 1.5 percent to 59.85 HK dollars following the gains in European financial stocks.
Yanzhou Coal Mining rose 6.6 percent to 16.74 HK dollars after saying it planned to merge its Australian unit with Gloucester Coal, a deal that will create one of Australia's largest listed coal companies.
Among other blue chips, the HKEX, the city's sole bourse operator, was up 0.6 percent to 126.20 HK dollars. Hang Seng Bank rose 0.7 percent to 93.05 HK dollars. (7.777 HK dollars = 1 U.S. d