HSBC leads HK shares to 3-mth high on strong turnover

* HSI soars to 3-month high; biggest gain in 4 months

* HSBC makes biggest-advance in five months

* Turnover soars to three-month high, topping HK$75 billion (Updates to close)

HONG KONG, April 2 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares soared 7.4 percent to a three-month high on Thursday, with HSBC notching up its biggest daily advance in five months, joining a global bank rally spurred by encouraging U.S. data and an expected easing of accounting rules.

Shares in bourse operator Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing (HKEX) 0388.HK soared 10.5 percent, reflecting the improved turnover on the exchange in recent sessions. Turnover topped HK$50 billion ($6.45 billion) through most of last week.

Daily average turnover is a key indicator of the exchange’s trading fees which in turn make up nearly a fifth of its revenues.

The benchmark Hang Seng Index .HSI ended 1,002.43 points higher at 14,521.97 in its biggest single-day percentage gain in four months.

Turnover jumped to a three-month high of HK$75.2 billion ($9.6 billion) from Wednesday’s HK$52.8 billion.

“We’ve seen a fair mix of short covering and genuine buying. Anybody who shorted the market in the last two months would have been compelled to cover their positions now,” said Andrew Sullivan, sales trader with MainFirst Securities.

“On the other hand, fund managers who held off on buying so far are also getting involved,” Sullivan said.


HSBC 0005.HKHSBA.L rallied 15.3 percent to HK$49.40, after touching HK$49.70 earlier -- their highest level since it announced its cash call a month ago, as the technical overhang related to its massive $18 billion rights issue subsided.

Wednesday was the last day of trading of the bank’s nil-paid rights in London.

The big move in HSBC astor Pang, strategist with Sun Hung Kai Financial.

The Shanghai Composite Index .SSEC broke through a technical resistance level of 2,402 points on Wednesday to add another 0.7 percent on Thursday.

The China Enterprises Index .HSCE of top mainland firms was 6.1 percent higher at 8,572.20.

China Petroleum & Chemical Corp 0386.HK, better known as Sinopec, rallied 6.2 percent to HK$5.47 after Goldman Sachs raised its rating on the stock to buy from neutral as it sees refining economics at Chinese oil companies improving further.

Guangzhou R&F Properties 2777.HK jumped 17.8 percent to HK$11.54 after its contracted sales in the first quarter grew about 80 percent from a year earlier, exceeding its target.

Local property counters also chimed in, with top developer Sun Hung Kai Properties 0016.HK climbing 10.1 percent while Cheung Kong Holdings 0001.HK added 8.4 percent.

Aluminum Corp of China (Chalco) 2600.HK built on the previous session's 6.3 percent rally to add another 9.5 percent after the world's No.3 alumina producer raised spot alumina prices on Wednesday.

Ping An Insurance 2318.HK climbed 9.2 percent extending Wednesdays' gains on news earlier this week that Shanghai would offer tax benefits to individuals buying pension plans from insurers. Non-life insurer PICC P&C 2328.HK tacked on 18.4 percent.

Editing by Jacqueline Wong