Hong Kong stocks got the Lunar New Year off to a fine start yesterday as they played catch-up with a recently buoyant Wall Street. The Hang Seng Index added 129.14 points, or 1.19 per cent, to end the session at 10,961.88 on turnover of HK$7.45 billion after it reopened following the new-year holiday. 'There was a hong pun today - a red opening, very red,' Phillip Securities research head Louis Wong Wai-kit said in reference to the traditional strong first day of trading after the break. United States stocks provided a helping hand in overnight trading after falling jobless claims pushed the Dow Jones Industrial Average over the 10,000 mark for the first time since January 10. In the three days of trading that Hong Kong has missed this week, the Dow Jones Industrials added 2.64 per cent. Wall Street's buoyancy was not lost on the regional markets that traded during the holiday. South Korea, for example, gained 5.93 per cent since its market reopened on Thursday, while the Philippines cemented recent highs with a 3.72 per cent gain since Tuesday. The fading of Enron and accounting-related headlines from newspapers also reinforced investor sentiment. 'Realistically, we're not over that yet until some solution is made, but it's sort of old news and priced in somewhat. So, until further cases surface, people will put that aside as it's already been talked about for a week or two,' said Ryan Fong Yen-hwung, vice-president of institutional sales at SBI E2-Capital Securities. The strong night on the Dow triggered solid gains in key Hong Kong blue chips, with banking giant HSBC Holdings up 0.85 per cent at HK$89.25 and China Mobile 3.04 per cent higher at HK$23.70. In general, China stocks were hot favourites despite mainland markets remaining shut until Monday. H shares and red chips outpaced the broader market, gaining 1.33 per cent and 2.83 per cent, respectively. Brokers said the first session augured well for the Year of the Horse - especially after the slippery returns in the Year of the Snake. 'Investors are still optimistic that there will be an economic recovery so it should fare better than the Year of the Snake,' Mr Wong said.