China, HK stocks surge as Shanghai declares victory over COVID

(Updates to market close)

SHANGHAI, June 27 (Reuters) - China stocks rose for a third consecutive session on Monday, with tourism and consumer sectors leading gains, as Shanghai’s top party boss declared victory over COVID-19 after the city reported zero new local cases for the first time in two months.

Hong Kong equities surged the most in three weeks, with tech giants climbing to their highest level since March 1, ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit.

** The blue-chip CSI300 index rose 1.1%, to 4,444.26, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.9% to 3,379.19 points.

** The Hang Seng index rose 2.4% to 22,229.52, while the China Enterprises Index gained 2.5% to 7,816.94 points.

** Shanghai Communist Party chief Li Qiang said at the opening of the city’s party congress that authorities had “won the war to defend Shanghai” against COVID by implementing the instructions of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

** Beijing said it would allow primary and secondary schools to resume in-person classes, while Shanghai will gradually resume dining-in at restaurants from June 29 in some areas.

** Also boosting sentiment, China’s central bank said it made the biggest daily cash injection into the banking system via open market operations in nearly three months.

** Stocks gained in Asia amid improved risk sentiment after Wall Street rebounded strongly at the end of last week as oil prices eased.

** Profits at China’s industrial firms contracted for a second month in May, but at a slower pace than in April, due to the resumption of activity in major manufacturing hubs as COVID-19 curbs were eased.

** Tourism companies jumped 3.8% and consumer staples rose nearly 3%, while shares in energy and non-ferrous metal added roughly 3.3% each.

** China’s securities regulator proposed rules to regulate private pension investment via mutual funds, setting the criteria for qualified products and sales agents under a scheme that will channel fresh savings into its capital markets.

** President Xi will visit Hong Kong for the 25th anniversary of the city’s handover to mainland China, marking his first known visit outside the mainland since January 2020 after the COVID-19 outbreak, state news agency Xinhua reported.

** There was a boost in Hong Kong market sentiment on talks of a package of favourable policies for the anniversary, covering stock connect scheme, overseas-listed Chinese shares and cross-border trips between Hong Kong and the mainland.

** China’s market regulator published draft rules and provisions aimed at improving its ability to govern antitrust behaviour, as the country prepares to implement a revised anti-monopoly law in August.

** The Hang Seng Tech Index soared 4.7%, with index heavyweights Alibaba and Meituan both up more than 3%.

** However, Tencent fell 1.6% as Dutch technology investor Prosus NV, announced it will gradually sell down its massive stake in the Chinese social media giant.

Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri