* HSI -0.1 pct, H-shares -0.3 pct, CSI300 +0.4 pct
* China auto sector rises after Xi calls for 'green' cars
* Investors like Premier Li's remark on policy fine-tuning
* PetroChina pulls down Hong Kong indexes on profit-taking
(Updates to midday)
By Grace Li
HONG KONG, May 26 China shares rose on Monday,
helped by gains for car makers after President Xi Jinping said
developing energy-efficient vehicles is the only way to
strengthen the country's auto industry.
Investors in the Chinese onshore markets were also cheered
by Premier Li Keqiang's remarks, reported by state media late
Friday, that timely policy fine-tuning is needed to underpin
growth in the world's second-largest economy.
Hong Kong shares were flat after a choppy morning session,
dragged down by a weaker energy sector.
At midday, the Hang Seng Index was down 0.1 percent
at 22,950.39 points. The China Enterprises Index of the
top Chinese listings in Hong Kong fell 0.3 percent.
The CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen
A-share listings and the Shanghai Composite Index each
gained 0.4 percent. Shanghai's benchmark index ended at 2,041.94
"Premier Li's comment may help the market sentiment to
stabilise," said Castor Pang, head of research at Core
Pacific-Yamaichi in Hong Kong.
Pang added that the Hong Kong markets may rise in the near
term depending on how good a load of coming U.S. economic data
turns out. So far, Hong Kong's benchmark index has climbed 3.7
percent in May.
Warren Buffett-backed Chinese carmaker BYD Co Ltd
was in focus on Monday after the company
launched a new share issue seeking to raise up to $550 million.
Its Hong Kong shares tumbled almost 9 percent when the
market opened but recovered most of the losses and ended the
morning session down 1.9 percent, helped by Xi's remarks on
green cars. Its Shenzhen shares soared 8.8 percent, the top
gainer of CSI300.
Leading H-share gainers were Great Wall Motor,
which climbed 3.0 percent and Guangzhou Automobile Group
, up 1.7 percent.
But the advances in Hong Kong were outweighed by weakness in
energy counters. PetroChina, the biggest drag on both
indexes, lost 1.1 percent as investors took profit after the
stock hit six-month highs last week.
The aviation sector was another outperformer in China, with
AVIC Aircraft up 4.4 percent in Shenzhen following
Xi's comment that China should make its own large aircraft.
(Editing by Richard Borsuk)