Hong Kong stocks headed higher Tuesday morning after preliminary results from a closely watched gauge of Chinese manufacturing activity showed a slight improvement from last month.
The Hang Seng IndexÂ advanced1.3% and the Shanghai Composite IndexÂ added 0.5%, while among mainland Chinese names, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng China Enterprises Index
In Hong Kong, Bank of China Ltd jumped 2.5% after it said in a statement that it hasn’t received any official indictment document from Italy prosecutors in connection with a reported money-laundering probe involving its Milan branch, although the bank confirmed it coopoerated with the Italian investigation in 2012. China Merchants Bank CoÂ also climbed 2.4%, with the lender announcing Monday night its first employee stock-incentive plan, selling as many as 434.8 million Shanghai-listed shares to employees. Other Chinese banks also gained substantially, as Bank of Communications CoÂ advanced 2.3%, China Minsheng Banking Corp rose 2%, Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd improved by 1.7%, Agricultural Bank of China Ltd tacked on 1.5%, and China Construction Bank CorpÂ traded 1% higher.
Meanwhile, railway-construction stocks rallied after Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli said Monday during his visit to Lithuania that China hopes to participate in building rail lines in the Baltic region. Also helping the sector was China Railway Group Ltd.’sÂ recent signing of an agreement with Russia’s state-owned JSC Russian Railways to design a high-speed line in Russia. China Railway cracked 3.1% higher. Likewise, China Communications Construction CoÂ jumped 3.9%, China Railway Construction Corp gained 2.3%, and CRRC Corp improved by 2.2%.