Hong Kong, China shares rise; Chinese property developers strong
* HSI climbs 0.8 pct, CSI300 up 0.4 pct
* Turnover still lackluster, more China data coming today
* China body satisfied with property curbs enforcement
* Li & Fung rise ahead of H1 earnings
By Clement Tan
HONG KONG, Aug 9 (Reuters) - Hong Kong and China shares rose on Thursday after data showed that annual consumer inflation in the world's second-largest economy fell to a 30-month low in July.
But turnover on both markets stayed lackluster, ahead of more Chinese data due at 0530 GMT on industrial output and fixed-asset investment, which is expected to show signs of a shallow recovery in motion.
The Hang Seng Index closed up 0.8 percent at 20,230.9 at midday, with resistance next seen at around 20,439, the 23.6 percent Fibonacci retracement of its rise from October lows to February highs.
In the mainland, the CSI300 Index of the biggest Shanghai and Shenzhen listings rose 0.4 percent, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.2 percent.
"Trading is still very passive, although some are cautiously hopeful of some more moves to boost growth after the weaker than expected producer-price numbers," said Jackson Wong, Tanrich Securities' vice-president for equity sales.
While annual consumer inflation eased to 1.8 percent in July from 2.2 percent in June, producer prices fell by a steeper-than-expected 2.9 percent on the year, compared to the Reuters forecast for a 2.5 percent decline and June's 2.1 percent drop.
Riskier sectors, such as Chinese financials, were among the bigger boosts to benchmark indices. China Construction Bank (CCB) was up 0.6 percent and China Life Insurance rose 2.3 percent.
Standard Chartered continued its recovery from Tuesday's 14.9 percent after New York's bank regulator threatened to strip the British bank of its state license, labelling it a "rogue institution" that allegedly hid $250 billion in illegal transactions tied to Iran.
In Hong Kong on Thursday, StanChart shares jumped 3.8 percent in strong volumes.
The British bank won help on Wednesday from Britain's central bank governor, who portrayed New York banking regulator Benjamin Lawsky as marching to his own tune, out of step with federal regulators in Washington.
Shares of Chinese property developers saw steady gains after China's State Council completed property market inspections. The teams it sent out were satisfied that all 16 provinces were adequately enforcing centrally-imposed curbs on the sector.
"We think the chance of new policy roll-outs is unlikely, but enforcement of existing measures will likely be tightened," Bank of America-Merril Lynch analysts said in a note to clients on Thursday.
"Tighter policies, together with high inventory level in the industry, will likely prevent home prices from rebounding, thus removing the needs of new policies, in our view," they added.
In Hong Kong, Evergrande rose 2.6 percent, while China Overseas Land gained 1.2 percent and China Resources Land firmed 1.6 percent.
Poly Real Estate rose 2 percent in Shanghai, while China Vanke was up 1.5 percent in Shenzhen after late on Wednesday announcing plans for its first overseas property.
LI & FUNG LEADS EARNINGS FOCUS
Corporate earnings continue to be a focus, with Hong Kong-based exporter Li & Fung and Prudential Plc among a clutch of companies posting first-half corporate results later in the day.
Li & Fung, which manages supply chains for major retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Target Corp , was up 1.7 percent at midday. It is now up 9.5 percent in 2012, compared to 9.7 percent for the Hang Seng Index.
Prior to Thursday, it was trading at 17.5 times forward 12-month earnings, a 19 percent discount from its historical median, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine.
Three of 20 analysts downgraded their full year earnings-per-share estimates for Li & Fung by 12.1 percent in the last 30 days, according to StarMine.
Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC) jumped 5.4 percent after posting a better-than-expected second quarter earnings after markets closed on Wednesday.
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