• The blue chips Hang Seng index was up 40.52 points or 0.15pc at 27,949.64.
  • The Hang Seng China Enterprises index rose 0.22pc to 10,976.19.
  • China financial markets are closed on Friday for the week-long Lunar New Year holiday.

HONG KONG: Hong Kong stocks ended slightly firmer in half-day trade on Friday with most participants staying away ahead of the Chinese New Year holiday, but investors were cautious as fears persisted over the spread of a coronavirus outbreak in China.

The blue chips Hang Seng index was up 40.52 points or 0.15pc at 27,949.64.

The Hang Seng China Enterprises index rose 0.22pc to 10,976.19.

Provincial capital Wuhan city, the epicentre of the virus outbreak, and Huanggang city have been locked down while Ezhou city has shut its train stations.

China financial markets are closed on Friday for the week-long Lunar New Year holiday.

The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares  rose 0.1pc, while the IT sector rose 0.3pc, the financial sector ended 0.02pc higher and the property sector dipped 0.2pc.

The top gainer on the Hang Seng was China Mobile, which gained 2.5pc, while the biggest loser was Geely Automobile Holdings, which fell 1.2pc.

The top gainers among H-shares were China Mobile up 2.5pc, followed by Hengan International Group, and China Resources Gas Group, both up 1.5pc.  The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were China Resources Beer Holdings, down 1.4pc.

Geely Automobile Holdings and Pharmaceutical Group, which were down 1.2pc.