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Around the World's Markets: Hong Kong

STOCKS CLOSED sharply higher, with sentiment boosted by plans by Microsoft to co-operate with Hongkong Telecom.

The Hang Seng share index finished up 268.96 points, or 2.62 per cent, at 10,532.95, just off its day's highs.

Hongkong Telecom was among the most actively traded stocks. The telecoms group announced that it planned to develop electronic shopping and video- on-demand services with the computer giant Microsoft.