HK shares track Asian markets higher on China data, vaccine hopes

(Reuters) – Hong Kong stocks tracked broader Asian markets higher on Tuesday, as upbeat China economic data and encouraging signs of progress in developing a COVID-19 vaccine buoyed sentiment.

** The Hang Seng index ended up 0.4% at 24,732.76, while the China Enterprises Index closed 0.2% higher at 9,829.07 points. ** An index tracking Asian markets gained 0.5%.

** China’s industrial output accelerated the most in eight months in August, while retail sales grew for the first time this year, suggesting that economic recovery is gathering pace as demand starts to improve more broadly from the coronavirus crisis. ** Sentiment is also aided by news that coronavirus vaccines being developed in China may be ready for use by the general public as early as November.

** “The recovery in China has become more balanced and broad-based,” HSBC wrote on Tuesday. “However, we believe the private sector is still under significant pressure, especially as household demand growth remains sluggish while external uncertainties remain high.”

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