China, Hong Kong shares rise as metal and rare earth firms shine

* SSEC +1.2%, CSI300 +1.5%, HIS +0.4%

* China reports zero locally transmitted infections for a second day

* Non-ferrous metal and rare earth stocks lead gains

BEIJING, Feb 9 (Reuters) - China and Hong Kong shares rose on Tuesday, extending gains from the previous session, as metal and rare earth stocks shined on signs that a resurgence of locally transmitted COVID-19 infections has been contained.

** At the midday break, the Shanghai Composite index was up 1.22% at 3,575.66 points. ** China’s blue-chip CSI300 index was up 1.45%, with its consumer staples sector up 1.51% and the healthcare sub-index up 1.4%.

** Leading the gains, the non-ferrous metal sub-index gained 4.5%, while the rare earth sector sub-index surged 4.4%.

** Chinese H-shares listed in Hong Kong rose 0.29% to 11,593.48, while the Hang Seng Index was up 0.39% at 29,432.92. ** The smaller Shenzhen index was up 1.86%, the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was higher by 1.58% and Shanghai’s tech-focused STAR50 index was up 1.97%. ** China reported 14 new COVID-19 cases on the mainland on Feb. 8, official data showed on Tuesday, unchanged from a day earlier and the second day of no locally transmitted infections. ** Shares in China’s digital currency-related stocks rose, underpinned by gains for cryptocurrencies. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.42% while Japan’s Nikkei index was up 0.11%. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.4487 per U.S. dollar, 0% firmer than the previous close of 6.4488. (Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)