HONG KONG--Hong Kong shares ended flat Monday, as the green shoots of China's economic recovery offset profit-taking pressure.
The blue-chip Hang Seng Index edged up 11.82 points to 20148.25, its highest close since 21249 on May 3. Market volume totaled 44.00 billion Hong Kong dollars (US$5.68 billion), down from HK$55.90 billion Friday.
A raft of China economic data released over the weekend and Monday morning came out either better than expected or in line with expectations, although profit-taking pressures emerged given the HSI's six-week 8.5% winning streak.
"We keep the view that the market's recent rally has priced in a lot of positives, and the Hang Seng Index may consolidate around 21,000 this week," said Alvin Cheung, associate director at Prudential Brokerages.
China's September exports and money supply all surprised on the upside, while consumer inflation, reported Monday morning, slowed slightly to below 2% in September, giving policy makers a bit more room to boost the world's second-largest economy.
"We expect at least one more reserve-requirement ratio cut and one interest rate cut in the remaining time of this year," UOB KayHian analyst Fan Zhang said.