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China stocks rise on state sector reform hopes, Hong Kong also gains
September 29, 2017 / 5:03 AM / 19 days ago

China stocks rise on state sector reform hopes, Hong Kong also gains

* SSEC +0.3 pct, CSI300 +0.4 pct, HSI +0.3 pct

* Shenzhen stock exchange says market stability is political task

* framework for China SOE reform ”basically complete

SHANGHAI, Sept 29 (Reuters) - China stocks rose on Friday, buoyed by hopes of further state sector reforms and consumer plays as investors bet shoppers will be out in force over the upcoming week-long National Day holiday.

The CSI300 index rose 0.4 percent to 3,839.21 points by the lunch break, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.3 percent to 3,348.14.

For the month, the CSI300 gained 0.4 percent but it posted a solid 4.7 percent rise for the quarter, taking its gain so far this year to around 16 percent. Much of the gains have come from resources stocks thanks to the country’s year-long construction boom.

The SSEC dipped 0.4 percent in September, but climbed 4.9 percent in the quarter, bringing its year-to-date rise to a more modest 7.8 percent.

Most sectors rose on the last trading day before the long holiday, with an index tracking China’s consumer sector advancing 1 percent.

Chinese markets will be shut all next week for the holiday and will not resume trade until Oct. 9.

The focus is now on the upcoming Communist Party Congress starting on Oct. 18, a once-every-five-years meeting where new leaders are appointed and the government’s key political and economic initiatives are laid out, though details are usually not announced until much later.

Traders also will be closely watching upcoming economic data for September, culminating in third-quarter GDP on Oct. 19. Worries that China’s robust economic growth may be starting to fade had triggered some selling this week, though most analysts do not expect a sharp loss of momentum.

Regulators have vowed to keep Chinese markets stable ahead of the party congress.

A government official said on Thursday that the framework for China’s state-owned enterprises (SOEs) is “basically complete” following five years of aggressive restructuring, and that Beijing will soon roll out mixed-ownership reforms for another batch of firms.

Such talk typically fuels speculation of more merger and acquisition activity, boosting shares of both state giants and also-rans in various sectors who may be shot-gun marriage targets.

HONG KONG

Hong Kong shares also rose on Friday, but the benchmark Hang Seng index was on track to record its first monthly loss this year.

The Hang Seng index added 0.3 percent to 27,512.65, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index gained 0.4 percent to 10,916.09.

For the month, Hang Seng lost 1.6 percent, while the HSCE fell 3.4 percent. But the HSI has still gained some 25 percent so far this year, while the HSCE is up 16 percent.

Reporting by Samuel Shen and John Ruwitch; Editing by Kim Coghill

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