March 1, 2018 / 4:28 AM / a year ago

China stocks rally as consumer, banking firms climb; Hong Kong also up

* SSEC 0.6 pct, CSI300 0.9 pct, HSI 0.2 pct

* HK->Shanghai Connect daily quota used 4.4 pct, Shanghai->HK daily quota used 13.2 pct

* FTSE China A50 +1.1 pct, BNY Mellon ADR China Select Index -0.2 pct

SHANGHAI, March 1 (Reuters) - China stocks recouped earlier losses to climb by midday Thursday as consumer and banking firms rose, after a private survey showed the country’s factory growth rose to a 6-month high in February. ** Growth in China’s manufacturing sector unexpectedly picked up to a six-month high in February as factories rushed to replenish inventories to meet rising new orders, a private survey showed on Thursday. ** The heavy southbound selling via the stock connect linking the mainland and Hong Kong in the past two days, was “worth monitoring but not a major issue at this stage,” Bank of America Merrill Lynch wrote in a note. ** Mainland Chinese sold a net 1.2 billion yuan ($189.30 million) of Hong Kong shares via the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect, after pulling out a record 2.9 billion yuan on Tuesday. ** At 04:03 GMT, the Shanghai Composite index was up 19.67 points or 0.6 percent at 3,279.08. ** China’s blue-chip CSI300 index was up 0.9 percent, with its financial sector sub-index rising 0.88 percent, the consumer staples sector up 1.96 percent, the real estate index up 0.1 percent and healthcare sub-index up 1.09 percent. ** Chinese H-shares listed in Hong Kong rose 0.23 percent at 12,410.75, while the Hang Seng Index was up 0.23 percent at 30,917.16. ** The smaller Shenzhen index was up 0.85 percent and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was higher by 1.03 percent. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.30 percent while Japan’s Nikkei index was down 1.41 percent. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.339 per U.S. dollar, 0.24 percent weaker than the previous close of 6.324. ** The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were Anhui Tongfeng Electronics Co Ltd up 10.02 percent, followed by Yonyou Network Technology Co Ltd gaining 10.01 percent, and Henan Ancai Hi-tech Co Ltd up 9.99 percent. ** The largest percentage decliners in the Shanghai index were 360 Security Technology Inc down 8.75 percent, followed by Aluminum Corp of China Ltd losing 7.29 percent and Qingdao Tianhua Institute of Chemistry Engineering Co Ltd down by 3.98 percent. ** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is down -0.85 percent, while China’s H-share index is up 3.3 percent. Shanghai stocks have gained 0.6 percent this month. ** The top gainers among H-shares were Zhuzhou CRRC Times Electric Co Ltd up 1.65 percent, followed by PICC Property and Casualty Co Ltd gaining 1.42 percent and Agricultural Bank of China Ltd up by 1.15 percent. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were Guangzhou Automobile Group Co Ltd which has fallen 1.61 percent, China Petroleum & Chemical Corp which has lost 1.6 percent, and PetroChina Co Ltd down by 1.1 percent. ** About 8.45 billion shares have traded so far on the Shanghai exchange, roughly 40.8 percent of the market’s 30-day moving average of 20.71 billion shares a day. The volume traded was 15.10 billion as of the last full trading day. ** As of 04:03 GMT, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 27.65 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. ** The Shanghai stock index is below its 50-day and 200-day moving average. ** The price-to-earnings ratio of the Shanghai index was 14.89 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 risen by 0.09 percent to 29.19 trillion yuan. ** In Hong Kong, the sub-index of the Hang Seng index tracking energy shares dipped 0.9 percent while the IT sector rose 2 percent. The top gainer on Hang Seng was Sino Land Co Ltd up 3.18 percent, while the biggest loser was WH Group Ltd which was down 2.47 percent. ($1 = 6.3391 Chinese yuan)

Reporting by Samuel Shen and John Ruwitch; Editing by Sunil Nair

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