Hong Kong stocks opened higher Wednesday as strong gains on Wall Street and an improved reading of China manufacturing activity in an official survey provided a lift, with insurers and ports operators leading the advance. The benchmark Hang Seng Index rose 1% to 21,295.45 and the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index added 0.8% to 11,170.29, while the Shanghai Composite added 1% to 2,421.16 as mainland bourses reopened for the first time this week and Hong Kong returned from a one-day holiday. Among financials, shares of AIA Group Ltd. rose 1.5% and Ping An Insurance Group Co. added 1.9%, also accompanied by a rise in banking stocks. Among other notable gainers, China Merchants Holdings International Co. climbed 1.6% and Cosco Pacific Ltd. advanced 1.8%. The broad gains came after an official version of China Purchasing Managers' Index showed a steady improvement in April, rising for a fifth straight month. Later in the day, HSBC will separately release its own PMI survey results for April that are expected to be less upbeat.
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