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HONG KONG: Hong Kong shares closed higher on Thursday, as gains in tech stocks during the later trading hours helped the benchmark reverse earlier losses.

The Hang Seng index rose 0.7% to end at 23,072.86, while the China Enterprises Index gained 0.7% to 8,068.93.

A “very tight” job market and unabated inflation might require the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates sooner than expected and begin reducing its overall asset holdings as a second brake on the economy, U.S. central bank policymakers said in their meeting last month.

The more hawkish-than-expected views of U.S. central bank officials pushed Treasury yields higher, and weighed down Hong Kong market in the morning session. Activity in China’s services sector expanded at a faster pace in December amid higher demand and easing inflationary pressure but continuing small-scale COVID-19 outbreaks weighed on the outlook, a private sector survey showed.

The Hang Seng Tech Index gained 1.4%, with Alibaba Group, Meituan and Tencent Holdings up 5.7%, 3.6% and 1.5%, respectively. The three tech giants, also index heavyweights, are the biggest point contributors lifting the Hang Seng.

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