September 19, 2013 / 5:01 AM / 4 years ago

Hong Kong shares touch highest level since February on Fed surprise

3 Min Read

* HSI +1.7 pct, H-shares +1.8 pct, China shut for holiday

* HSI now just over 430 points shy of 2013 high

* Hong Kong property rallies as Treasury yields slide post-FOMC decision

* Gold miners surge as gold prices rebound

By Clement Tan

HONG KONG, Sept 19 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares jumped to their highest in more than seven months on Thursday, led by gold-related and interest-rate sensitive counters after the U.S. Federal Reserve surprisingly didn't cut its stimulus programme.

Gains came in robust turnover. Sino Land led local property developers up, surging nearly 6 percent. China's largest gold producer Zijin Mining surged 7.1 percent as gold prices rebounded.

"The Hong Kong market will have more gains from here, but its outperformance versus other parts of Asia will be reduced in the next few months," said Erwin Sanft, Standard Chartered's head of Greater China research.

At midday, the Hang Seng Index was up 1.7 percent at 23,512.1 points. Earlier, it reached 23,554.3, the highest intra-day level since Feb. 4. The index is up 2.6 percent on the week and just more than 430 points below the 2013 high.

The China Enterprises Index of the leading Chinese listings in Hong Kong climbed 1.8 percent, also coming off the day's highs. It is up 2.3 percent this week.

Hong Kong markets will be shut on Friday for the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday. Mainland China is shut Thursday and Friday for the same holiday.

The Fed's decision to keep its asset buying at $85 billion a month was seen as a rebuff to the sharp rise in Treasury yields over recent months, which was proving a headwind for the housing market and the economy in general.

The prospect that U.S. rates could stay low for longer was further underlined by news from the White House that noted-dove Janet Yellen was the front-runner to take over the Fed when Ben Bernanke steps down in January.

Hong Kong property developers led gains among Hang Seng benchmark components. Shares of New World Development climbed 4.3 percent to its highest since end-May, but gains were capped by chart resistance seen at HK$12.62.

Link Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), among the hardest hit after Bernanke stated nearly four months ago that officials expect to slow the pace of bond purchases this year, rallied 5.4 percent to its highest in more than a month.

China's largest jewellery retailer Chow Tai Fook rose 4.1 percent, while gold miners Zhaojin Mining surged nearly 8 percent as both Brent and U.S. oil posted their largest daily gain in three weeks.

Yanchang Petroleum shares, trading for the first time on Thursday since being suspended on Aug. 28, climbed 2.6 percent. The company said its wholly subsidiary it has agreed on a C$232 million deal to acquire Canada's Novus Energy Inc .

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