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HK stocks end higher as China GDP data signals economic recovery

* HK->Shanghai Connect daily quota used 8.9%, Shanghai->HK daily quota used 3.1%

* HSI +0.6%, HSCE +1.1%, CSI300 +0.4%

* FTSE China A50 +0.6%

April 16 (Reuters) - Hong Kong stocks climbed on Friday to end the week higher, underpinned by strong GDP growth data pointing to a continued recovery in China’s economy.

** At the close of trade, the Hang Seng index was up 176.57 points or 0.61% at 28,969.71. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index rose 1.12% to 11,027.51.

** The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares rose 2.3%, while the IT sector climbed 1.55%, the financial sector ended 0.19% lower and the property sector rose 0.11%.

** For the week, HSI was up 0.9%, while HSCE firmed 0.5%.

** China’s economic recovery quickened sharply in the first quarter from a coronavirus-induced slump earlier last year, propelled by stronger demand at home and abroad and continued government support for smaller firms.

** GDP jumped a record 18.3% in the first quarter from a year earlier, official data showed on Friday, slower than the 19% forecast by economists in a Reuters poll, and following 6.5% growth in the fourth quarter last year.

** The market would remain range-bound for the short-term, as China’s monetary policy remains adequately balanced now, CITIC Securities Brokerage (HK) noted in a report.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.47%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 0.14%.

** The yuan was quoted at 6.5225 per U.S. dollar at 08:17 GMT, 0.01% weaker than the previous close of 6.5216.

** At close, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 32.33% over Hong Kong-listed H-shares. (Reporting by the Shanghai Newsroom, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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