* HSI +0.4 pct, H-shares +1 pct, CSI +0.1 pct
* Indexes running into resistance at recent highs
* Ping An bucks China insurers recovery in HK
* China banks leads HK gains after UBS upgrade
By Clement Tan
HONG KONG, Jan 9 Hong Kong shares bounced from
their lowest in a week on Wednesday, as Chinese banks helped
kickstart the resumption of a start-of-the-year rally on a
brokerage upgrade, sending benchmark indexes back towards
Ping An Insurance bucked a recovery among offshore
Chinese insurance counters, slipping 0.6 percent after more
reports suggesting HSBC's sale of its $9.4 billion stake to
Thailand's CP Group could be in jeopardy.
The Hang Seng Index went into the midday trading
break up 0.4 percent at 23,191.3, with resistance seen at
19-month highs set last Thursday at about 23,400 points.
The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese
listings in Hong Kong climbed 1 percent after its worst daily
loss in two months on Tuesday had sent the H-shares index to its
lowest since Jan. 2.
In the mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index and
the CSI300 of top Shanghai and Shenzhen listings each
inched up 0.1 percent. Both indexes have been hovering near its
highest since mid-June after a strong December surge.
"We are running into chart resistance now, so investors are
looking to rotate into laggards. There is no need to be too
bearish right now, at least in the first quarter," said Hong
Hao, Bank of Communication International Securities' chief
On Wednesday, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC)
rose 1.1 percent in Hong Kong after UBS raised its
target price for ICBC's H-share listing by almost 21 percent.
Its Shanghai listing gained 0.2 percent.
Chinese banks were the top three boosts on the Hang Seng
Index. Other than ICBC, China Construction Bank (CCB)
rose 0.9 percent, while Bank of China (BOC) gained 1.7
percent. ICBC has rallied 40 percent from a trough on Sept. 5,
while both CCB and BOC have jumped about 30 percent.
China Railway Group rose 3 percent after JP Morgan
analysts raised their target price for its Hong Kong listing by
41 percent, while China Railway Construction gained
1.1 percent after JPM raised its target price by 36 percent.
MOUTAI HELP A-SHARES INCH GAINS
Mainland Chinese markets hovered near seven-month highs,
with gains in alcohol producers on the day limited by lingering
weakness in the Chinese non-banking financial sector as
investors rotated into laggards in December.
Kweichow Moutai rose 2.1 percent to near its
highest in about two weeks, continuing its recovery from a Dec.
6 trough. Moutai shares slumped 12.7 percent in November, its
worst monthly loss since April 2010.
On Wednesday, investors cheered more news reports of the
bigger producer of Chinese premium white spirits cracking down
on suppliers reducing prices ahead of the Chinese New Year in
Ping An's Shanghai shares shed another 0.9
percent after diving 3.7 percent on Tuesday, which was its worst
single day loss since Oct. 29. China Life Insurance
declined 1 percent.
Zoomlion Heavy Industry tumbled 6.6
percent in Hong Kong and 2.9 percent in Shenzhen, despite the
company's denial of a Hong Kong media report concerning