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Hong Kong’s benchmark index rose to its highest intraday level in more than a year and a half on Monday.

The rise to 24,461 was spurred in part by a 2.8 per cent rise in telecoms stocks, as well as respective climbs of 1.9 per cent and 1.6 per cent in the information technology and energy segments.

A 15.7 per cent gain by China Shenhua, the mainland’s largest coal producer, was helping to drive the rise, as were a 2.2 per cent climb from Tencent Holdings and a rise of 2.1 per cent from the bourse’s own operator, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing.

The rise to the index’s highest level since August of 2015 puts it still further above the 24,000 mark, which has historically acted as a ceiling for the benchmark over the past seven years.

Yet for now the Hang Seng shows little sign of trepidation even after passing that level: it is up 11.1 per cent in the year to date, marking its first positive start to a year since 2012. An increase in southbound traffic from mainland investors taking advantage of Stock Connect trading schemes, which link Hong Kong with bourses in Shanghai and Shenzhen, is helping to drive the current rally.

The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, focused on listed mainland Chinese companies, is also enjoying its first positive start in five years, up 12.6 per cent in the year to date at 10,572, just shy of its recent peak at the highest level since November 2015.

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