Hong Kong shares rise on upbeat data, China propped up by property

Mon Jun 9, 2014 1:03am EDT

* HSI +0.7 pct, H-shares +0.7 pct, CSI300 +0.3 pct

* China property firm on reported comment from housing official

* Great Wall Motor tumbles after May sales disappoint (Updates to midday)

By Grace Li and Lu Jianxin

HONG KONG/SHANGHAI, June 9 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares gained on Monday, underpinned by optimism over U.S. jobs and China exports data which supported the view of an improving global economy.

China shares reversed early losses and ended the morning session higher buoyed by strength in bank and property firms, as some investors bet on possible Chinese monetary policy easing.

U.S. jobs data on Friday showed that non-farm payrolls increased by 217,000 last month, bringing employment back to its pre-recession level and validating the view that labour conditions were improving. The unemployment rate held steady at a 5-1/2 year low of 6.3 percent.

In China, exports in May rose a better-than-expected 7 percent from a year earlier, quickening from April's 0.9 percent rise, though imports were disappointing with a drop of 1.6 percent, data showed on Sunday.

By midday, the Hang Seng Index was up 0.7 percent at 23,114.33 points, set to snap a 3-day losing streak. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong also gained 0.7 percent.

The CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings rose 0.3 percent, while the Shanghai Composite Index added 0.4 percent to 2,037.69 points.

"More and more people are now talking about the possibility of an overall monetary easing in China now," said Guo Yanling, senior analyst at Shanghai Securities.

"However, the government has only said it will relax liquidity in some sectors, such as in agriculture and among companies in small industries, so the overall stock market rally may not go too far for now," she added.

The property sector was also driven up after a housing official was quoted by the China Business News as saying the adjustment of the real estate market would be limited.

Poly Real Estate Group climbed 4.3 percent, while China Vanke, the biggest listed property firm, up 1.5 percent.

Hong Kong's local property firms also outperformed, with Cheung Kong Holdings up 1.1 percent and Henderson Land Development up 0.9 percent.

"The prospect of improving house sales in the second half helps these share prices to have a strong rebound currently," said Castor Pang, head of research at Core Pacific-Yamaichi.

A standout drag on Monday was Great Wall Motor as May sales released late on Friday showed a decline of 15.7 percent from a year earlier. Its Shanghai shares were off 5.1 percent, hitting their lowest intra-day level since January 2013 at one point; while its Hong Kong stock dived 5.8 percent, both the biggest index percentage loser.

At the same time, competitor Dongfeng Motor Group surged 7.2 percent in Hong Kong and a much more modest 0.3 percent in Shanghai. Its H-shares have soared almost 30 percent from a 2-month closing low on May 20. (Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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