By Laura He, MarketWatch
HONG KONG (MarketWatch) — Hong Kong stocks ended sharply higher Monday, after the Chinese central bank announced a surprise rate cut Friday night.
The Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI -0.96% jumped 2%, while the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index or “H-share index” /zigman2/quotes/210598031/delayed CN:160462 -1.34% rallied 3.8%.
The People’s Bank of China’s reduction of the benchmark one-year deposit and lending rates -- by 25 basis points and 40 basis points, respectively -- sent shares of mainland Chinese banks and property developers both sharply higher.
Among major banks, China Minsheng Banking Corp., Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/208095167/delayed HK:1988 +0.74% climbed 3.9%, China Merchants Bank Co., Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/209899244/delayed HK:3968 -4.30% advanced 3.2%, and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/201401473/delayed HK:1398 0.00% rose 2.4%.
Property shares gained even more, with China Vanke Co., Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/203851375/delayed HK:2202 -1.83% soaring 13.3%, China Overseas Land & Investment Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/205731176/delayed HK:688 -1.44% surging 11%, Country Garden Holdings Co. Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/201681083/delayed HK:2007 -4.19% spiking 10.5%, China Resources Land Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/202417326/delayed HK:1109 -2.84% leaping 10.4%, and Poly Property Group Co. Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/209766147/delayed HK:119 -2.06% improving 8.8%.
Many other blue chips also headed higher, with telecoms giant China Mobile Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/200868736/delayed HK:941 +0.19% up 2.2%, online major Tencent Holdings Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/204605823/delayed HK:700 -1.15% rising 1.1%, and lender HSBC Holdings PLC /zigman2/quotes/202687335/delayed HK:5 -0.32% underperforming the Hang Seng Index with a 0.6% gain.
On the Chinese mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP -0.08% finished up 1.9%.
Other major Asian markets also posted solid gains. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO -0.30% closed up 1.1%, while South Korea’s Kospi Composite Index /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 -0.69% settled 0.7% higher. Japan markets were closed Monday for a public holiday.