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The Independent Online

STOCKS closed sharply higher, helped by optimism on China joining the World Trade Organisation, a rally in Japan and improved sentiment. The Hang Seng closed up 305.84 points, 2.24 per cent, at 13,975.54 - its highest close since 13 July.

Analysts said the rally focused on HSBC, China Telecom, Cable & Wireless HKT and Hutchison Whampoa. "They're only buying four stocks," said Celestial Asia Securities stock market analyst William Li.