Property and banks lift Hang Seng

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Asian shares were broadly higher, ending a five-session losing streak, led by a strong performance in Hong Kong as property stocks rallied after recent losses.

The Hang Seng index of Hong Kong’s top 49 stocks gained 1.2 per cent to 21,441.99. China Resources Land, the property developer, climbed 3.3 per cent to HK$18.64 after falling in the previous session on fears the new Chinese government will impose stricter property controls.

Investors were keeping a keen eye on China’s party Congress meeting for an indication of future policy direction in the world’s second-largest economy. The new Politburo Standing Committee, the country’s top decision-making body, will be unveiled on Thursday.

Gains for financial stocks were led by China Construction Bank, which climbed 3.2 per cent to HK$5.84 after it was reported the lender was preparing to improve its risk management division and speed up the process of disposing of bad loans.

Elsewhere in the sector, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China gained 3 per cent to HK$5.11, while Bank of China added 2.9 per cent to HK$3.18.

Tencent Holdings, the gaming and social networking website, fell 0.9 per cent to HK$267.80 after its quarterly profit fell just short of market forecasts. The company reported a 32 per cent rise in earnings to Rmb3.2bn ($514m), thanks to a 54 per cent rise in revenues.

The mainland Shanghai Composite index climbed 0.4 per cent to 2,055.4 thanks to strong gains for aluminium smelters on reports the China State Bureau of Material Reserve was about to start purchasing stocks of the metal.

Aluminium Corp of China climbed 4.7 per cent to Rmb4.95, while Shandong Nanshan Aluminum added 2.2 per cent to Rmb6.45.

In Tokyo, Sharp jumped 7.2 per cent to Y163 on local media reports that Intel and Qualcomm may invest as much as Y40bn ($503m) in the struggling Japanese TV maker.

The Nikkei 225 index inched 4 points higher to 8,664.73.

In Sydney, Fairfax Media, an Australian newspaper publisher, gained 4 per cent to A$0.40 after selling its US rural media business to Penton Media for $79.9m.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.2 per cent to 4,388.37. Overall, the FTSE Asia Pacific index was 0.1 per cent higher at 233.27.

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