HONG KONG, July 24 (Reuters) - China shares rose sharply on Thursday as investors plowed into blue chips, cheered by the progress of a trading plan that will soon make it much easier for foreigners to buy Shanghai stocks.
Sentiment was further boosted after a preliminary HSBC survey showed that China's factory activity expanded at its fastest pace in 18 months in July as new orders surged.
The Shanghai Composite Index ended up 1.3 percent at 2,105.06 points. The CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings climbed 1.8 percent, as both hit their highest closes in more than three months.
(Reporting by Donny Kwok; Editing by Richard Borsuk)