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HONG KONG, Nov 29 AFP

November 29 2012, 9:04PM

Hong Kong shares have finished 0.99 per cent higher as traders followed a rally on Wall Street that was fuelled by hopes of a US deal to avert the fiscal cliff of tax hikes and spending cuts.

The benchmark Hang Seng Index on Thursday added 213.91 points to end at 21,922.89 on turnover of $HK54.46 billion ($A6.74 billion).

In Washington House of Representatives speaker John Boehner said on Wednesday he was optimistic of a deal between his Republicans and their Democratic rivals.

Later in the day President Barack Obama also said he expected a solution would be found before Christmas.

"Our ultimate goal is an agreement that gets our long-term deficit under control in a way that is fair and balanced," Obama said.

"I believe that both parties can agree on a framework that does that in the coming weeks," he said. "In fact, my hope is to get this done before Christmas."

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's office said he would meet members of congress on Thursday to discuss "a balanced approach to reduce our deficit".

Most blue chips ended higher, led by mainland developers because of solid property sales, with China Overseas Land closing 1.1 per cent higher at $HK22.50 and China Resources Land rising 1.4 per cent to $HK20.00.

However, Chinese shares fell for a fourth straight day to a fresh four-year low as traders move out of equities as they await government measures to boost the market.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index fell 10.04 points to 1,963.49 on turnover of 49.5 billion yuan ($A7.57 billion).

The index finished at its lowest level since January 16, 2009.

"The market is likely to stay weak until the government launches significant market-friendly measures," Capital Securities' analyst Amy Lin told Dow Jones Newswires.

She added such moves could include allowing more companies to buy back their shares and further easing of monetary policy.

The losses come despite recent signs that the world's No.2 economy is showing signs of recovery as investors are concerned that corporate earnings have not kept pace, analysts said.

Citic Securities slid 4.4 per cent to 9.80 yuan and Haitong Securities lost 5.9 per cent to 7.77 yuan.

But property developers bucked the trend on hopes the real estate sector has bottomed out. China Vanke jumped 1.1 per cent to 8.43 yuan and Poly Real Estate Group rose 0.8 per cent to 11.10 yuan.