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2019-10-16 HKT 17:09
Hong Kong shares closed higher on Wednesday, in line with a rally across Asia and after shrugging off a mid-morning drop when Chief Executive Carrie Lam was forced to abandon her traditional policy address at Legco after protests by opposition lawmakers.
The Hang Seng Index added 0.6 percent, to 26,664.
On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index dropped 0.4 percent, to 2,978 while the Shenzhen Composite Index eased 0.4 percent, to 1,635.
Investors were cautious as Beijing said it would take "strong measures" after the US House of Representatives passed a bill sought by pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong that aims to defend civil rights in the city.
"While considering Hong Kong a separate trading entity is still an implausible scenario at this point... it could potentially derail trade talks indefinitely regardless of who's in power after election 2020," said Stephen Innes at AxiTrader.
In the region, Tokyo and Sydney gained more than 1 percent while Singapore added 0.9 percent. There were strong gains in Seoul, Mumbai, Taipei, Wellington, Bangkok, Manila and Jakarta.
The pound held most of its gains Wednesday after hitting a five-month high on growing hopes that Britain and the European Union are close to a Brexit deal.
Signs of a breakthrough sent the pound rallying to US$1.28 in London, a level not touched since May, and in Hong Kong, it fetched HK$9.94.
But traders were warned to be cautious as there remained a number of obstacles.
"How many times have we been down this road in the last three years, as talks have faltered over the Gordian knot of Northern Ireland," said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK. (AFP)