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Hong Kong shares close higher on tech stocks, policy support optimism

* HSI +0.9%, HSCE +1%

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BEIJING, Dec 23 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares settled higher on Wednesday, led by gains in tech firms, as investors hoped that policymakers would avoid sudden credit policy tightening in 2021 to support an economic recovery from the pandemic-induced slump. ** At the close of trade, the Hang Seng index was up 223.85 points, or 0.86%, at 26,343.10. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index rose 0.95% to 10,482.52. ** The IT sector led the gains by rising 1.74%, while the financial sector ended 0.35% higher and the property sector rose 0.42%.

** The top gainer on the Hang Seng was handset maker Xiaomi Corp , which rose 7.59% in its biggest daily gain in a month. ** China’s main Shanghai Composite index closed up 0.76% at 3,382.32, while the blue-chip CSI300 index ended up 0.85%.

** China’s central bank will scale back support for the economy in 2021 and cool credit growth, but fears of derailing a recovery from a pandemic-induced slump and debt defaults are likely to prevent it from tightening any time soon, policy sources said. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 1.05%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 0.33%. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.5361 per U.S. dollar at 08:09 GMT, 0.1% firmer than the previous close of 6.5429. (Reporting by the Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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