Around the World's Markets: Hong Kong

SHARE PRICES closed sharply higher in Hong Kong, driven by fresh buying ahead of the expiry of the February futures contract. The Hang Seng index closed 243.58 higher at 9,677.57, but 60 points below the high point for the day.

Property and bank shares led the way after recently underperforming. HSBC alone rose HK$5 to HK$211.00 after touching HK$214.00. Wing Lung Bank, Hang Seng Bank and Bank of East Asia also gained up to 3 per cent.

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