By Laura He, MarketWatch
HONG KONG (MarketWatch) — Hong Kong stocks climbed on Wednesday to their highest settlement in more than three years, extending a three-day winning streak.
The Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI -0.09% ended up 0.8% at 24,890.34, a closing level it hasn’t seen since November 2010, shrugging off a batch of Chinese economic data that showed a slowing in growth.
China’s industrial production rose by 9% in July, easing from a 9.2% increase in June, while a 12.2% growth in July retail sales also missed expectations from a Bloomberg survey, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday.
Chinese banks advanced across the board, with China Merchants Bank Co., Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/209899244/delayed HK:3968 +2.95% rising 1.8%, Bank of Communications Co. /zigman2/quotes/203442771/delayed HK:3328 +1.58% adding 1.7%, and China Construction Bank Corp. /zigman2/quotes/208974133/delayed HK:939 +1.46% improving by 0.9%.
However, Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/203532437/delayed HK:293 -0.31% , one of Asia’s largest airlines, bucked the market trend with a 1.7% decline, after its interim earnings fell short of market expectations.
In Japan, the Nikkei Average /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK +0.09% gained for a third straight session, closing up 0.4%. The Topix index /zigman2/quotes/210598092/delayed JP:180460 +0.29% also finished 0.4% higher. The yen /zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled USDJPY -0.4584% , meanwhile, fell to 102.452, from 102.294 against the dollar on Tuesday.
In other Asian markets, Seoul’s Kospi Composite Index /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 +0.58% settled 1% higher, the Shanghai Composite Index /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP -0.65% ticked up 0.1%, and Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO +0.27% pulled back 0.3%.