Hong Kong Market Closes Higher
HONG KONG (AP) _ Shares on Hong Kong’s battered stock exchange rebounded today after the government and banks announced new measures to boost investor confidence.
But brokers said it was still too early to say whether the market had recovered, and that much would depend on developments on Wall Street and other major overseas markets today.
They said share prices gained in all sectors, but utilities made the largest group gain and trading was confined mostly to blue chips.
The market’s prime gauge of blue chips, the Hang Seng index, closed at 2,395.72 - a gain of 154.03 or nearly 7 percent.
The index had plummeted 1,120.70 points Monday, or 33 percent, to close at 2,241.69 in its worst single-day fall ever. The index dropped to 2,118 within 40 minutes of the market’s opening today and at one point fell to 1,980.
Turnover totaled $456.7 million, compared with $573.4 million on Monday.
Shortly before the exchange opened today, the government and banks announced a series of measures to renew confidence in the market. Officials had closed the exchange for four days last week after the index plunged 11 percent Oct. 19, the day of the record crash on Wall Street.
″We have no intention of giving Hong Kong away,″ Financial Secretary Piers Jacobs said in announcing a $256 million support package to supplement a similar package disclosed Sunday.
The new package was set up by the government, mainland China’s Bank of China, and Hong Kong’s two main banks, the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank and the Standard Chartered Bank.
″We will do everything that is needed, and I can assure you that we will win,″ he said.
A group of banks also announced they were cutting their lending rates by 1 percentage point.