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HONG KONG, Feb 6 AFP

February 06 2013, 7:48PM

Hong Kong shares have closed 0.47 per cent higher following gains on Wall Street and in line with a regional advance after the previous day's big losses.

The benchmark Hang Seng Index rose 108.40 points on Wednesday to 23,256.93 on turnover of HK$74.78 billion ($A9.31 billion).

The advance was fuelled by bargain hunting after the index tumbled 2.27 per cent on Tuesday, its biggest fall in three months.

Dealers were also following a rally on Wall Street after huge losses on Monday caused by concerns over political uncertainty in Spain and Italy.

The Dow ended 0.71 per cent higher, approaching a record high, while the S&P 500 climbed 1.04 per cent and the Nasdaq rose 1.29 per cent.

Steven Leung, director of institutional sales at UOB KayHian, told Dow Jones Newswires the fall was "just a normal correction. The liquidity situation and government policies in China are favourable to both the economy and stock market".

Among the beneficiaries on Wednesday was conglomerate Wharf, which rose 2.1 per cent to HK$68.40 after falling 4.1% on Tuesday. Pan-Asia insurer AIA Group climbed 2.7 per cent to HK$30.85 and oil refiner Sinopec bounced 1.5 per cent to HK$8.87 from a 6.4 per cent loss previously.

Macau casinos were hit by a report Chinese authorities are planning to crack down on junket operators who bring high-rolling gamblers into the territory from across China.

Wynn Macau dived 6.8 per cent to close at HK$19.44 and Galaxy Entertainment tumbled 5.4 per cent to HK$33.00.

Chinese shares ended flat. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.06 per cent, or 1.35 points, to 2,434.48 on turnover of 104.6 billion yuan ($A16.23 billion).

Despite the regional uptrend the Chinese market took a breather after rising more than six per cent since last week.

Trading was also slow ahead of the long Chinese Lunar New Year holiday next week.

"Investors bought brokerage stocks on speculation their profits may get a boost from recent gains in the stock market," Haitong Securities analyst Zhang Qi told AFP.

Sinolink Securities rose 2.11 per cent to 18.42 yuan and Industrial Securities gained 1.58 per cent to 13.50 yuan.

Other financial firms rose. Ping An Insurance jumped 4.21 per cent to 52.78 yuan and China Everbright Bank gained 3.29 per cent to 3.77 yuan.

Coal firms were lower on profit taking. Shanxi Coal International Energy dropped 3.16 per cent to 22.08 yuan while Shanxi Coking lost 2.16 per cent to 9.50 yuan.