(Corrects 12th paragraph and 4th bullet to FIH Mobile, not
* HSI +0.7 pct, H-shares +0.6 pct, CSI300 +0.4 pct
* Larger Chinese financials lead rebound, smaller ones down
* Prada sinks after quarterly earnings disappointment
* FIH Mobile spikes after Blackberry deal
By Clement Tan
HONG KONG, Dec 23 China shares rose from more
than four-month lows in choppy Monday trade, lifting Hong Kong
stocks, after the central bank said it put $50 billion last week
to interbank markets, allaying some fears about a repeat of
June's cash crunch in the mainland.
Larger financial counters led the rebound on benchmark
indexes despite the key seven-day repo rate
spiking to 9.6 percent and within range of the all-time high of
11.6217 percent hit on June 20 - reinforcing the view the
People's Bank of China has shifted to tighter monetary policy.
"People are trying to second-guess whether the PBOC will
prevent cash rates from hitting end-June highs, but anything can
happen in a market in thin, year-end volumes," said Hong Hao,
Bank of Communications International's chief equity strategist.
"Investors need to get used to seeing surges in interest
rates like this in the new year. This is the high cost of reform
with liabilities requiring more liquidity to finance and
refinance, people were too optimistic after the party plenum,"
At midday, the CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and
Shenzhen A-share listings, which closed on Friday at its lowest
since Aug. 8, was up 0.4 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index
also inched up 0.4 percent and, if gains hold, will snap
a nine-day losing streak.
The Hang Seng Index climbed 0.7 percent to 22,972.7
points, while the China Enterprises Index of the top
offshore Chinese listings in Hong Kong rose 0.6 percent. Both
closed on Friday at their lowest since mid-November.
For Christmas, Hong Kong will shut at noon on Tuesday and
resume trading on Friday. Mainland China markets stay open
throughout this week.
On Monday, as big financial counters rose, smaller ones
again slid on fears rising interest rates would affect those
more reliant on short-term, interbank funding.
China Construction Bank jumped 5.6
percent in Shanghai, while rising 0.2 percent in Hong Kong.
Mid-sized lender China Minsheng Bank sank
1.3 percent in Shanghai and 0.6 percent in Hong Kong.
Market participants will watch if the central bank injects
cash at regular open market operations on Tuesday. The Chinese
central bank has skipped such operations for five straight
China Mobile rose 1.3 percent after Apple Inc
said it has signed a long-awaited agreement to sell
iPhones through the world's biggest network of mobile phone
users. Pre-orders will start on Christmas Day and devices will
be available Jan. 17.
FIH Mobile jumped 5.6 percent after Blackberry
announced on Friday a handset production deal
with the company.
Italian luxury fashion house Prada SpA tumbled 4.8
percent after reporting a lower-than-expected rise in quarterly
profit and warning that its November-December European sales
might be down from a year ago.
(Editing by Richard Borsuk)