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Hong Kong shares end up 0.3 pct at 2012 closing high

Wednesday, 24 Oct 2012 | 8:09 AM ET

HONG KONG, Oct 24 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares posted a fresh 2012 closing high on Wednesday, buoyed by expectations of more capital inflows into the territory after its de facto central bank moved to weaken the Hong Kong dollar for the fourth time in less than a week.

The Hang Seng Index closed up 0.3 percent at 21,763.8, after earlier posting the year's highest intra-day level at 21,802.5. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong slipped 1 percent.

In the mainland, the CSI300 Index of the top Shanghai and Shenzhen listings ended down 0.2 percent at 2,307.8. The Shanghai Composite Index closed up 0.1 percent.

HIGHLIGHTS:

* Expectations of further capital inflows buoyed shares of bourse operator Hong Kong Exchange (HKEx) to its highest since late April after the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) moved to weaken the Hong Kong dollar for the fourth time since Oct. 19 to defend its 29-year-old peg to the U.S. dollar. HKEx jumped 2.9 percent, while local developers were among the biggest percentage gainers among Hang Seng Index components.

* Weakness in fashion retailer Esprit Holdings limited gains in Hong Kong. Esprit plunged 9.5 percent after it announced plans to raise $677 million to fund a restructuring of its key businesses. Losses on Wednesday brought Esprit's share price to its lowest since Aug. 6, paring gains after the company appointed an executive from larger rival Inditex as its new CEO.

(Reporting by Clement Tan; Editing by Anne Marie Roantree)