Hong Kong stocks rose as a report showed U.S. consumer spending increased for a fifth month and European confidence in the economic outlook improved.
Li & Fung Ltd., the biggest supplier to companies including U.S.-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc., rose 1.3 percent. Esprit Holdings Ltd., which gets more than 80 percent of its revenue from Europe, climbed 3.1 percent. Aluminum Corporation of China Ltd., the nation’s largest producer of the metal, rose 1.9 percent after metal prices climbed. Cosco Pacific Ltd. fell 1.2 percent after a measure of shipping tariffs declined for the 10th day.
The Hang Seng Index gained 0.6 percent to 21,356.03 as of 11:13 a.m. after sinking 0.2 percent. The measure has dropped 2.4 percent this quarter, halting three straight quarters of gains. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, which tracks the so-called H shares of Hong Kong-listed Chinese companies, rose 1 percent to 12,335.59.
“Risk appetite is pretty good,” said Alex Au, managing director of Richland Capital Management Ltd., which oversees $300 million of assets. “The global recovery certainly has emerged to be better than a lot of people imagined.”
Shares on the Hang Seng are priced at an average 14.1 times estimated earnings, down from 18.1 times on Nov. 16 when the index closed at its highest level for 2009, according to Bloomberg data. Concern budget deficits in Europe, including in Greece, may derail the global recovery and speculation China’s government will tighten money supply have contributed to a 7 percent drop in the Hang Seng Index from its November high.
Li & Fung, Esprit
Li & Fung rose 1.3 percent to HK$39. Esprit gained 3.1 percent to HK$63.45. Foxconn International Holdings Ltd., which gets 35 percent of its revenue from America, gained 1 percent to HK$8.46.
U.S. Commerce Department figures showed a 0.3 percent growth in consumer purchases in February, matching economist estimates. In Europe, an index of executive and consumer sentiment in the 16 nations using the euro rose to the highest level in almost two years in March, the European Commission said yesterday.
Aluminum Corporation of China, also known as Chalco, rose 1.9 percent to HK$8.07. The London Metal Exchange Index of six metals including aluminum and zinc climbed 3 percent yesterday, the most since Feb. 16.
Cosco Pacific, fell 1.2 percent to HK$11.84. The Baltic Dry Index, a measure of shipping prices, sank 2.5 percent yesterday. The index has plunged 15 percent since March 15, falling for 10 days straight.
--Editors: Sam Waite, John McCluskey