Hong Kong Stocks Extend Rally, Seoul Market Up

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2018-03-09 HKT 17:08

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  • Hong Kong market ended the week strongly after a shaky start. File photo: RTHK

    Hong Kong market ended the week strongly after a shaky start. File photo: RTHK

Hong Kong shares ended a volatile week with a healthy gain on Friday, extending the previous day's rally, after Donald Trump agreed to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for de-nuclearisation talks.

The Hang Seng Index rallied 1.1 percent, to end at 30,996.

On the mainland, the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index closed 0.6 percent, higher at 3,307 and the Shenzhen Composite Index rallied 1.6 percent, to 1,885.

The news of a planned Trump-Kim meeting provided a springboard for Asian markets, with Seoul surging 1.1 percent and Tokyo ending 0.5 percent higher.

Sydney and Singapore each rose 0.3 percent. Taipei, Manila, Wellington and Mumbai were also higher.

"It's a big deal – there's no question this is a positive move," Ian Bremmer, president of Eurasia Group, a political-risk research and consulting firm in New York, told Bloomberg TV.

"But also there is the possibility that it could go badly, that Trump could be embarrassed that they make an agreement that Kim Jong Un could backslide on.

On currency markets, the US dollar gained ground against the euro after the European Central Bank lowered its inflation outlook, which tempered expectations for tighter monetary policy.

Eyes are now on the release later on Friday of US jobs and wage growth data, which will provide a better idea about the Fed's plans for lifting interest rates. (AFP)