China shares gain as slower-than-expected inflation raises monetary easing bets

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  • SSEC +0.35%, CSI300 +0.36%; Hang Seng +2.12%
  • China producer price growth slower than expected in December
  • Hang Seng up on tech boost, property drags

SHANGHAI, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Chinese shares rose on Wednesday, supported by materials, consumer and new energy firms after slower-than-expected December producer inflation made room for more monetary easing in the world's second-largest economy.

** At the midday break, the Shanghai Composite index (.SSEC) was up 0.35% at 3,579.93.

** China's blue-chip CSI300 index (.CSI300) was up 0.36%, with the new energy sub-index (.CSI399808) up 2.26%.

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** Resource firms (.CSI000944) were 2.06% higher and the consumer staples sector (.CSI000912) was up 0.49%.

** China's producer prices rose slower than expected in December after government measures to contain high raw material prices, while consumer prices slowed as food prices fell. read more

** Analysts expect moderating factory-gate inflation to offer more room for loosening monetary policy, as authorities seek to stabilise growth.

** Hong Kong-listed Chinese H-shares (.HSCE) rose 2.2% to 8,552.76, while the Hang Seng Index (.HSI) gained 2.12% to 24,241.15.

** The Hang Seng Tech index (.HSTECH) was 3.86% higher at midday as tech firms led a rebound in equities after U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell gave less hawkish than expected comments in a testimony to Congress. read more

** JD.Com Inc (9618.HK), up 9.89%, was the top gainer among H-shares, followed by Meituan (3690.HK), gaining 9.33% and CNOOC Ltd , up 7.93%.

** Mainland developers capped broader gains in Hong Kong and were the top H-shares decliners.

** Sunac China Holdings Ltd (1918.HK) fell 4.6%, China Overseas Land & Investment Ltd (0688.HK) lost 2.63% and Country Garden Holdings Co Ltd (2007.HK) slipped 2.04%.

** The mainland properties index (.HSMPI) fell 1.99%.

** The smaller Shenzhen index (.SZSC) was up 0.7%, the start-up board ChiNext Composite index (.CNT) was up 1.36% and Shanghai's tech-focused STAR50 index (.STAR50) was up 0.61%​.

** Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index (.MIAPJ0000PUS) rose 1.16%, while Japan's Nikkei index (.N225) gained 1.93%.

** The yuan was quoted at 6.3651 per U.S. dollar, 0.13% firmer than the previous close of 6.3733.

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Reporting by Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Rashmi Aich

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.