China stocks to end 2017 with strong gains, Hong Kong surges 36 pct

SHANGHAI, Dec 29 (Reuters) - Stocks in China and Hong Kong edged higher on Friday, capping a strong year of double-digit gains as domestic and global investors increased their exposure to Chinese markets despite worries about a slowing economy and further regulatory crackdowns. ** At 0414 GMT, the Shanghai Composite index was up 2.50 points or 0.08 percent at 3,298.88. The gauge is set to end the year up around 6.3 percent. ** China’s blue-chip CSI300 index was up 0.08 percent, on track to rise roughly 22 percent in 2017. Blue chips have led gains in China’s stock markets this year, while many small caps have languished.

** Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was up 0.4 percent at 29,969.51, and is poised to gain roughly 36 percent for the year. Chinese H-shares listed in Hong Kong also rose 0.4 percent to 11,725.01, pushing their gain this year to nearly 25 percent.

** The CSI300 financial sector sub-index was up 0.14 percent, the consumer staples sector down 0.84 percent, the real estate index up 1.3 percent and healthcare sub-index up 0.27 percent.

** The smaller Shenzhen index was up 0.16 percent and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was unchanged. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.30 percent while Japan’s Nikkei index was up 0.11 percent. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.517 per U.S. dollar, 0.25 percent firmer than the previous close of 6.5333. ** The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were Hangzhou Cable Co Ltd up 10.02 percent, followed by Furen Pharmaceutical Group Industry Co Ltd gaining 8.28 percent and Zhuzhou Kibing Group Co Ltd up by 6.36 percent. ** The largest percentage losses in the Shanghai index were CRED Holding Co Ltd down 9.67 percent, followed by Yangzhou Yaxing Motor Coach Co Ltd losing 7.7 percent and Wenyi Suntech Co Ltd down by 6.29 percent. ** The top gainers among H-shares were Guangzhou Automobile Group Co Ltd up 2.89 percent, followed by Great Wall Motor Co Ltd gaining 2.73 percent and Air China Ltd up by 2.61 percent. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were Zhuzhou CRRC Times Electric Co Ltd which has fallen 1.73 percent, Haitong Securities Co Ltd which has lost 0.9 percent and China Shenhua Energy Co Ltd down by 0.7 percent. ** About 8.15 billion shares have traded so far on the Shanghai exchange, roughly 52.5 percent of the market’s 30-day moving average of 15.52 billion shares a day. The volume traded was 17.54 billion as of the last full trading day. ** As of 0414 GMT, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 30.14 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. ** The Shanghai stock index is below its 50-day moving average and above its 200-day moving average. ** The price-to-earnings ratio of the Shanghai index was 14.82 as of the last full trading day while the dividend yield was 2 percent. ** So far this week, the market capitalisation of the Shanghai stock index has fallen by 0.07 percent to 28.78 trillion yuan. ** In Hong Kong, the sub-index of the Hang Seng index tracking energy shares rose 0.2 percent while the IT sector fell 0.3 percent. The top gainer on Hang Seng was Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd up 2.44 percent, while the biggest loser was Country Garden Holdings Company Ltd which was down 1.83 percent.

Reporting by Samuel Shen and John Ruwitch; Editing by Kim Coghill