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HONG KONG: Hong Kong stocks rose for a second session on Friday, tracking firmer overseas markets, as investors awaited US non-farm payrolls data for hints on how long the high interest rate regime will last.

Traders were also adjusting their positions and preparing for the reopening of China’s markets next week after the Golden Week holiday, while awaiting a catalyst for economic growth.

Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index ended 1.6% higher on Friday, but was down 1.8% for the first week of the fourth quarter.

Hang Seng China Enterprises Index rose 1.5%, Hang Seng Tech Index surged 1.6% and Hong Kong-listed mainland property firms jumped 1.8%.

Mainland markets are closed this week and will reopen on Oct. 9 China’s upcoming September data release is expected to see continued weakness in property sales and investment, and rebound of retail sales growth on a low base, among others, UBS analysts said in a note “With growth momentum in August and September bottoming out from previous weakness in July, Q3 GDP sequential growth will likely stabilize, leading to a slower y/y growth of 4.4% on a fading favourable base effect,” said Ning Zhang, Senior China Economist at UBS Investment Research said.

Brokers said concern over high interest rate environment and uncertainty of the global marco economy still haunted the market, although an expected meeting of Chinese and US leaders helped improved the market sentiment.

The White House is making plans for a face-to-face meeting between US President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping in San Francisco next month as the two countries seek to stabilize troubled relations, the Washington Post reported.

Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index rose 0.9%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 0.26%.

Shares of Sunac China jumped 10.1% in the biggest one-day percentage rise since Sept. 11, after the property developer obtained a Hong Kong court approval on Thursday on its $9 billion offshore restructuring proposal.

Country Garden, Sino-Ocean Group and Logan rose between 3.5% and 4.6%, while China Evergrande slipped 1.6%.

Alibaba Health was the top gainer on the Hang Seng Index, rising 4.1%, while the biggest loser was Budweiser Brewing Company APAC, which eased 1.8%.

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