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Hong Kong shares rise as mainland buying lifts tech names

* Hang Seng index ends up 2.15%, H-shares up 2.19%

* IT sector surges 5.24%, lifted by Tencent, Meituan

* Mainland investors purchase $16.7 bn worth of HK stocks

Feb 1 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares ended higher on Monday, lifted by high-tech and consumer firms, as mainland investors continued to purchase shares through the Stock Connect programme.

** The Hang Seng index ended 609.15 points or 2.15% higher at 28,892.86. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index rose 2.19% to 11,454.18. ** The IT sector led gains, up 5.24%. Index heavyweights Tencent Holdings Ltd jumped 4.48% and Meituan soared 9.89% to be the top gainer on the Hang Seng. ** The financial sector ended 0.71% higher and the property sector rose 0.54%. ** Mainland investors purchased a net HK$16.7 billion ($2.15 billion) worth of Hong Kong stocks through the Stock Connect link between the mainland and Hong Kong, according to Refinitiv data. ** “Structurally ... mainland flows into Hong Kong are only set to rise over the longer term. With flows into China’s bond markets likely to remain strong, mainland regulators will continue to open windows for offsetting outflows,” Thomas Gatley, an analyst at Gavekal, said in a note. ** Mainland buying has been driven by relatively low valuations of Hong Kong shares. At the close, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 37.53% over Hong Kong-listed H-shares. ** China’s main Shanghai Composite index closed up 0.64% at 3,505.28, while the blue-chip CSI300 index ended up 1.23%. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 1.37%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 1.55%. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.4616 per U.S. dollar at 0810 GMT, 0.49% weaker than the previous close of 6.43. ($1 = 7.7528 Hong Kong dollars) (Reporting by Andrew Galbraith; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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