Mainland banks help Hong Kong stocks extend rally

Hong Kong shares headed toward fresh 18-month highs on Monday, resuming a recent rally, as mainland lenders traded in the city pulled investors amid low valuations and stable Chinese economic conditions.

The Hang Seng Index rose 0.3% to 24,111.85 by midday. Bank of Communications and China Construction Bank (CCB) added at least 1.1% to pace large peers.

PetroChina rose 1% after its parent China National Petroleum bought an 8% stake for $1.77 billion in an onshore oil concession in Abu Dhabi. Bank of East Asia ranked among the decliners, falling 2.1% to extend Friday’s losses after it reported a more than 30% fall in 2016 net profit.