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HONG KONG, Nov 23 AFP

November 23 2012, 9:14PM

Hong Kong shares have closed 0.79 per cent higher at the end of a quiet day, extending recent advances, on hopes for fresh policy measures by Beijing to boost the Chinese economy.

The benchmark Hang Seng Index added 170.78 points on Friday to end at 21,913.98 on turnover of HK$50.77 billion ($A6.34 billion).

In remarks published by state media, Vice Premier Li Keqiang, who is expected to become premier next year, said the country's stable economic growth can only continue if the country reforms.

"Reform and opening is essential to allowing people to enjoy a better life," the China News Service quoted Li as saying while meeting officials overseeing 11 cities and provinces that are test-beds for reforms.

"If we don't do it, then we won't make mistakes but will bear historic responsibility," he said on Wednesday, in some of his first remarks since moving up the hierarchy.

Blue-chip retailer Belle led gains, rising 3.7 per cent to HK$15.70, while exporter Li & Fung rose 1.8 per cent to HK$12.40 and Chinese port operator China Merchants Holdings was up 1.9 per cent at HK$23.70.

Chinese shares closed up 0.58 per cent. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rose 11.77 points to 2,027.38 on turnover of 38.3 billion yuan ($6.1 billion). The index added 0.63 per cent for the week.

But investors were still awaiting concrete polices, analysts said.

"We still think the market may consolidate with a downward bias in the coming weeks unless there are some eye-catching changes in policies," Shanghai Securities analyst Peng Yunliang told Dow Jones Newswires.

Financial stocks rose. China Pacific Insurance gained 2.70 per cent to 17.14 yuan while China Merchants Bank climbed 1.31 per cent to 10.03 yuan.

Wine producers were lifted by bargain hunting. Gansu Mogao Industrial Development surged by its 10 per cent daily limit to 10.01 yuan and Shanghai Jinfeng Wine jumped 4.86 per cent to 8.84 yuan.