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HK stocks close higher as investors cheer dovish Fed stance

* HK->Shanghai Connect daily quota used 5.7%, Shanghai->HK daily quota used 4.8%

* HSI +1.3%, HSCE +1.0%, CSI300 +0.8%

* FTSE China A50 +0.8%

SHANGHAI, March 18 (Reuters) - Hong Kong stocks ended firmer on Thursday, in line with broader Asian markets, after the U.S. Federal Reserve pledged to maintain accommodative monetary policy and projected a rapid jump in U.S. economic growth this year.

** The Hang Seng index closed 1.3% higher at 29,405.72, while the China Enterprises Index gained 1% to 11,470.43.

** The U.S. economy is heading for its strongest growth in nearly 40 years, the Federal Reserve said on Wednesday, and central bank policymakers are pledging to keep their foot on the gas despite an expected surge of inflation.

** Leading the gains, the Hang Seng tech index and the Hang Seng industrials index climbed 1.2% and 1.7%, respectively.

** Though analysts said there were still headwinds going ahead, including a further rise in U.S. treasury yields and slower southbound flows.

** “Hong Kong stocks will remain rangebound for the time being, given the recent correction in the A-share market that helped slowed down the pace of southbound flows via the Stock Connect linking mainland and the island city,” said Linus Yip, chief strategist at First Shanghai Group.

** “Some mainland mutual funds, which invest both in the onshore market and Hong Kong, could need to sell Hong Kong stocks to deal with redemptions following recent declines in the onshore market,” he added.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.57%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed 1.01% higher.

** The yuan was quoted at 6.5033 per U.S. dollar at 0818 GMT, 0.03% firmer than the previous close of 6.5052.

** At close, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 33.55% over Hong Kong-listed H-shares. (Reporting by the Shanghai Newsroom, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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