November 26, 2018 / 4:47 AM / 23 days ago

China, HK stocks rise; caution persists ahead of G20 meeting

SHANGHAI, Nov 26 (Reuters) - China stocks edged up on Monday, after stock exchanges published draft rules that facilitate share buybacks by listed firms, but the mood was cautious amid worries about economic growth and ahead of a meeting between U.S. and Chinese leaders this week.

** Hong Kong equities posted solid gains, helped by sharp rebounds in financial and property shares. ** The CSI300 index rose 0.5 percent to 3,158.54 points at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.3 percent to 2,586.96 points. ** In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index added 1.7 percent to 26,367.11 points, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index gained 1.3 percent to 10,524.29.

** Attention is also fixated on the G20 summit in Argentina at the end of this month, where U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping are expected to hold high-stakes talks amid the Sino-U.S. trade war.

** China’s main goal at the G20 meeting is to get the United States to refrain from raising the tariffs in January, Chinese economists and academics say. However, President Xi will not be bullied into making a bad deal. ** The Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges published draft rules late on Friday that would allow companies to use various channels, including borrowing and preferred share issuance, to fund share buybacks. Listed companies will also be allowed to sell stakes six months after share buybacks. ** The measures will likely incentivize more companies to buy back their shares in a boost to stock prices. For example, shares of Yugang Technology Group jumped nearly 6 percent on Monday after its controlling shareholder proposed to conduct share buybacks. ** “Valuation of many stocks are quite attractive at the moment to long-term investors,” said Yang Hai, strategist at Kaiyuan Securities, forecasting a market rebound. ** Many investors remained cautious due to economic uncertainty. China’s economic growth is expected to hit 6.6 percent this year and slow to 6.3 percent in 2019 as the country struggles with challenges relating to trade and structural reform, economists from Beijing’s Renmin University said in a report. ** China’s CSI300 financial sector sub-index was higher by 0.92 percent, the consumer staples sector up 0.09 percent, the real estate index up 1.33 percent and the healthcare sub-index up 0.05 percent. ** The smaller Shenzhen index was up 0.11 percent and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was unchanged. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.72 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei index rose 0.65 percent. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.9436 per U.S. dollar, 0.09 percent firmer than the previous close of 6.9499. ** The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were Beihai Gofar Marine Biological Industry Co Ltd , up 10.1 percent, followed by Gome Telecom Equipment Co Ltd, gaining 10.06 percent and Shanghai Xinhua Media Co Ltd, up by 9.93 percent. ** The largest percentage losses in the Shanghai index were Shanghai Shibei Hi-Tech Co Ltd, down 9.98 percent, followed by Hangzhou XZB Tech Co Ltd, losing 9.07 percent and Asia Cuanon Technology Shanghai Co Ltd, down by 8.8 percent. ** The top gainers among H-shares were ZhongAn Online P & C Insurance Co Ltd, up 5.87 percent, followed by China Gas Holdings Ltd, gaining 5.84 percent and Huaneng Power International Inc, up by 3.87 percent. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were China Railway Group Ltd, which has fallen 2.66 percent, PetroChina Co Ltd, which has lost 1.5 percent and China Resources Land Ltd, down by 1.4 percent.

Reporting by Samuel Shen and John Ruwitch, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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