Shares of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing vaulted over the HK$100 hurdle yesterday for the first time in nearly eight months as improved market turnover levels signalled better earnings prospects for the stock market operator. HKEx advanced for a fourth session, climbing 2.76 per cent to HK$100.40 after rising as much as 4.81 per cent. It was the fourth-most actively traded stock by value, as nearly HK$2 billion worth of its shares changed hands. 'Funds are flooding into the Hong Kong market,' said Matthew Kwok, the head of research at Tanrich Financial. 'And if the situation continues, then it could support HKEx's share price at the current level.' Investors have returned to the market over the past two months to chase after tentative signs of recovery in the global financial system. Daily main-board turnover in Hong Kong has improved during the rally, topping HK$70 billion eight times in the past five weeks after only doing so once in the previous three months. The increased trading interest has already paid dividends for HKEx. Its share price has soared 92.15 per cent since hitting a two-year low in November last year at HK$52.25. Most of the advance has come during the global equity rally over the past two months. HKEx has surged 79.29 per cent since March 6, compared with a 37.82 per cent gain in the blue-chip Hang Seng Index. Investors could start to take profits on the sharp rise in HKEx, but the stock might find near-term support around HK$90 given improved market sentiment, Mr Kwok said. Further upside in the bourse operator could be limited at its current level, however. The market had already factored in the benefit of higher turnover, and the run-up in HKEx's share price reflected a best-case scenario regarding its earnings, Macquarie analysts Jemmy Huang and Nick Lord wrote in a report last month. 'The short-term liquidity momentum might lend support to the share price, but we would see this as a profit-taking opportunity and suggest investors revisit the stock when it trades back to our target price,' the Macquarie analysts wrote, citing HK$66 as their target price for HKEx. Meanwhile, the Hang Seng Index advanced for a fourth consecutive session yesterday, edging up 49.03 points or 0.3 per cent to 16,430.08.