Hong Kong shares rise on Chinese surveys, though mainland markets tepid

Tue Jun 3, 2014 1:00am EDT

* HSI +0.7 pct, H-shares +1.1 pct, CSI300 +0.2 pct

* Hang Seng Index touches a five-month high in early trade

* China oil firms soars after media report on exploration licenses (Updates to midday)

By Grace Li

HONG KONG, June 3 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares rose on Tuesday, led by financial and property stocks, after solid Chinese manufacturing surveys reinforced hopes that the China's economy may be improving after a few weak months.

But the Chinese onshore markets remained unimpressed, finishing the morning session with moderate gains with dairy and property firms being the biggest drags.

Mainland and Hong Kong markets were closed on Monday for a holiday.

China's official manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) for May came in on Sunday at 50.8, higher than an expected 50.6, while the HSBC/Markit final PMI reading was 49.4, its best performance in four months but lower than the flash 49.7 reading.

At midday Tuesday, the Hang Seng Index was up 0.7 percent at 23,243.77 points, earlier touching its highest since Jan. 2 and trimming losses on the year to less than one percent. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong gained 1.1 percent.

The CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings was up 0.2 percent, while the Shanghai Composite Index also added 0.2 percent at 2,043.98 points.

Last week, China's cabinet announced fresh supportive measures, including cutting reserve requirement ratios (RRR) for more commercial banks, expanding re-lending and bond financing to support small firms.

"The official PMI reading is within expectation, and it's not the first time for regulators to cut reserve requirements for banks," said Du Changchun, an analyst at Northeastern Securities in Shanghai, adding that the cut's impact on the overall economy is "relatively limited".

The easing of reserve requirements boosted Chinese banks. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China gained 1.6 percent in Hong Kong and 0.6 percent in Shanghai.

Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group was the biggest drag for both mainland indexes. It tumbled 6.1 percent to its lowest since July 1 after a China Business News report said four subsidiaries of the China milk-maker failed to make the latest list of qualified infant formula producers.

Bright Dairy & Food shed 3.3 percent.

China oil companies surged after the Securities Daily newspaper, citing unnamed sources, reported three oil and gas blocks had been allocated in Xinjiang for local and private firms to bid and that the National Energy Administration would issue up to five exploration licenses this month at the earliest.

In Shenzhen, Sinopec Shandong Taishan Petroleum surged 8.6 percent and Rongsheng Petrochemical 7.4 percent.

The Macau casino sector was strong ahead of May gambling revenue data. Wynn Macau rose 1.9 percent and Sands China climbed 1.0 percent. Data released at midday showed May revenue was 9.3 percent above a year earlier. (Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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