Hong Kong stocks gained on the first trading day of the Year of the Ox after investors returned from a long holiday weekend, tracking Asia-Pacific markets higher on optimism over a global economic recovery and roll-out of Covid-19 vaccines.

The Hang Seng Index rose 1.9 per cent to 30,746.66, rising to its highest level since June 12, 2018 after ending the Year of the Rat on a high.

“Market sentiment is very feverish, even in the absence of money [from the mainland] coming through the Stock Connect,” said Louis Tse Ming-kwong, managing director of Wealthy Securities. “Investors are anticipating a gradual economic recovery, as more people [around the world] are taking vaccines.”

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