Hong Kong, Shanghai stocks gain in morning trade - RTHK
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Hong Kong, Shanghai stocks gain in morning trade

2019-08-23 HKT 09:42
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  • The markets were cautious ahead of a key speech by Fed chairman. Image: Shutterstock
    The markets were cautious ahead of a key speech by Fed chairman. Image: Shutterstock
Hong Kong shares ended Friday's morning session on a positive note as investors await a crucial speech on monetary policy by the head of the US Federal Reserve later in the day.

The Hang Seng Index added 0.5 percent, to 26,173 by lunch.

On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index added 0.5 per cent to 2,897 while the Shenzhen Composite Index was flat at 1,588.

Most other Asian markets headed into the weekend on a cautious note, while the pound held the previous day's rally fuelled by rekindled hopes for a soft Brexit.

Tokyo went into the break 0.2 percent higher, while Sydney rose 0.3 percent. However, Singapore, Seoul, Taipei and Wellington were all in the red, with Manila more than 1 percent lower.

On currency markets, high-yielding, riskier units were broadly lower as traders move into the relative safety of the US dollar.

The pound dipped but was sitting around three-week highs after French President Emmanuel Macron echoed German Chancellor Angela Merkel in allowing Britain to find a solution to the Irish border that has dogged negotiations since 2017.

Ahead of the G7 summit in Biarritz, France this weekend, Prime Minister Boris Johnson met the leaders to reach an agreement that averts a damaging hard Brexit on October 31.

"The market has seized on these comments as a positive development, showing a will to negotiate," Roy Attrill at National Australia Bank said in a note. (AFP)

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Last updated: 2019-08-23 HKT 12:54