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HONG KONG: Hong Kong shares jumped the most in more than six months to finish up on Thursday, after China cut a set of key policy rates and lending benchmarks to prop up a slowing economy, with investors pinning hopes on further easing in policies by Beijing.

The Hang Seng index rose 3.4%, to 24,952.35, while the China Enterprises Index gained 3.8%, to 8,761.56 points.

The one-year loan prime rate (LPR) was lowered by 10 basis points, and the five-year LPR was reduced by 5 basis points - the first reduction since April 2020.

The Hang Sang Tech Index surged 4.5% after China’s cyberspace regulator denied issuing a document with new guidelines for the nation’s leading internet companies that would require them to seek approval for new investments and fundraising.

Shares of Chinese leading tech giants, also index heavyweights, such as Tencent Holdings, Alibaba Group and Meituan ended up 6.6%, 5.9% and 11%, respectively.

Mainland developers listed in Hong Kong soared 4.6%, with Shimao Group and Sunac China Holdings up 12.1% and 15.2%, respectively.

Reuters reported that China is drafting nationwide rules to make it easier for developers to access funds from sales still held in escrow accounts, in its latest move to ease a severe cash crunch in the sector.

The Hang Seng Finance Index rose 2.5%, with insurer AIA Group gaining 5.8%. Consumer staples added 2.6%.

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