* SSEC 0.4 pct, CSI300 0.6 pct, HSI 0.9 pct
* Fed rate hike this week fully baked in
* gov officials say risk of steep slide in China economy
SHANGHAI, March 13 China and Hong Kong stocks
rebounded on Monday as the markets, having priced in an almost
certain U.S. rate hike this week, gave a positive response to
official comments over the weekend suggesting China's economy
was on a steadier footing.
China's blue-chip CSI300 index rose 0.6 percent,
to 3,449.57 points by the lunch break, while the Shanghai
Composite Index gained 0.4 percent, to 3,226.41 points.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index rose 0.9 percent to
23,779.54 points, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index
gained 1.5 percent to 10,219.80.
Investor sentiment was boosted by comments on Sunday from Li
Wei, director of the Development Research Centre of
the State Council, who said that the risk of a steep slide in
China's economy has reduced. He said the economy had moved
through an "L-shaped" pattern of slowing to now "horizontal"
Fears of aggressive monetary tightening also abated after a
senior government official said on Sunday that the debt risk for
China's main state-owned enterprises (SOEs) is controllable. On
Friday, China's central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan said that
it would take time to bring down corporate debt levels.
Sealand Securities said in its latest strategy report that
although another U.S. rate hike would have short-term impact on
the yuan and domestic liquidity, the "marginal" impact was
bcoming smaller and smaller, limiting the risk of a further
slide in stocks.
All main sectors rose in China and Hong Kong.
China's tech-heavy start-up board ChiNext rose
over 1 percent, outperforming the broader market, after Wan
Gang, head of China's Ministry of Science & Technology said over
the weekend that China will soon publish a blueprint to promote
development of Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Material stocks jumped around 1 percent
in both China and Hong Kong markets on expectations that prices
of raw materials will rise further on the back of a recovery in
the global economy.
(Samuel Shen and John Ruwitch; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)