China shares jump on CSRC comments, Hong Kong gains capped by property

Mon Aug 4, 2014 12:55am EDT

* HSI +0.3 pct, H-shares +1.0 pct, CSI300 +1.3 pct

* China Shenhua rises after raising coal prices

* China Everbright jumps as parent group gets approval for reform plan

* HSBC slips ahead of H1 earnings (Updates to midday)

By Grace Li and Lu Jianxin

HONG KONG/SHANGHAI, Aug 4 (Reuters) - China shares regained momentum on Monday on positive market comments from the country's top securities regulator, while gains in Hong Kong were restrained by weak property developers.

A China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) spokesman on Friday described the recent rally in China's stock market as a "rebound" due to improving performance in the economy, more liquidity, and market reforms, including the planned Shanghai-Hong Kong stock market connector pilot programme.

By midday, the Hang Seng Index was up 0.3 percent at 24,615.61 points, while the China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong rose 1.0 percent.

The CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings gained 1.3 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index was up 1.1 percent at 2,210.27 points.

"The CSRC comments are good news. Basically the market has entered into an uptrend," said Zhang Qi, a Shanghai-based analyst with Haitong Securities.

"But since it has gained so much, some fluctuations in the short term are understandable. The key is still whether follow-up funds can continue to flow into blue chips," Zhang added.

China's benchmark index, the Shanghai Composite, has jumped more than 6 percent over the past two weeks.

Brokerage firms led gains on the CSI300, encouraged by comments from the CSRC spokesman who said the regulator would continue to support their innovative business development.

CITIC Securities jumped 5.1 percent, while Haitong Securities climbed 3.6 percent.

China Shenhua Energy rose 2.7 percent in Shanghai and 2.6 percent in Hong Kong. The mainland's biggest coal producer raised prices of steam coal on Friday after cutting prices seven times within less than two months, according to a report from China Business News.

Shares of HSBC Holdings eased 0.4 percent ahead of interim earnings later in the day. They are down 2.1 percent in 2014, compared with a 5.6 percent rise in the Hang Seng Index.

The bank is expected to report an 11 percent fall in profit for the first half, hurt by declining revenue in a pared down business and lower income from Latin America and investment banking at the start of the year.

The recently outperforming property sector continued to retreat in Hong Kong, with Sun Hung Kai Properties down 1.2 percent and Cheung Kong Holdings 0.6 percent.

China Everbright Bank leapt 5.3 percent in Shanghai and 3 percent in Hong Kong, after it said late on Friday its parent China Everbright Group had won state council approval to change its shareholding structure. (Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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