Asia markets get Hong Kong and Huawei boost

Posted October 17, 2019 1:14 a.m. EDT

— Asian markets were mostly quiet Thursday, but Hong Kong stocks climbed after the financial hub gave its real estate sector reason to cheer.

China's Shanghai Composite Index traded flat, while Japan's Nikkei 225 inched up 0.1% and South Korea's Kospi edged lower.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index advanced as much as 1.1% in the morning trading. It later dipped slightly but was still up 0.8%, boosted by local real estate developers after the city's leader Carrie Lam unveiled a series of measures to loosen mortgage rules and encourage home buying.

New World Development, a major property owner and developer in Hong Kong, surged 4.3%. It was the top gainer on the benchmark index. Rivals Sun Hung Kai Properties and CK Asset Holdings climbed 2.5% and 1.8% respectively.

Lam delivered her third policy address on Wednesday, which was focused on measures trying to tackle the city's rising property prices and lack of affordable housing. They include loosening the cap on how much first-time home buyers can borrow from banks.

The policy address came as ongoing protests hit the city's economy and financial markets. Lam's speech was repeatedly disrupted by pro-democracy lawmakers who jeered her over her response to the protests.

Hong Kong banks also rose broadly. HSBC Holdings gained 1.3%. Hang Seng Bank advanced 2%.

Shares of suppliers to Huawei rallied in Hong Kong after the Chinese tech and telecoms giant reported strong results for the third quarter.

Aac Technologies and Sunny Optical Technology rose 1.9% and 1.2% respectively.

Huawei suppliers in Shenzhen also pulled higher. Integrated circuit card manufacturer Hengbao Co. soared 8.1% in Shenzhen. Connector maker Luxshare Precision Industry also jumped 6%. GoerTek Inc., a supplier of acoustic components, climbed 3.7%.

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