Economy 2 MIN READ

China, HK shares post best month in six on support to private sector

July 31, 2023By Reuters

Hong Kong and China stocks extended gains on Monday to close their best month since January, as a slew of supportive measures rolled out by the Chinese government boosted sentiment, particularly in the private sector.

** Hang Seng Index rose 0.82% and Hang Seng China Enterprises Index jumped 1.33%.

** China’s CSI 300 Index gained 0.55%, while the Shanghai Composite Index climbed 0.46%.

** Both benchmarks logged their best performance in six months, with Hang Seng surging 6% and China’s CSI 300 jumping 4.5%, repetitively.

** Hang Seng Tech Index went up 1.9% and soared 16% this month, marking the strongest month since the reopening rally in November.

** The official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) inched up to 49.3 in July from 49.0 in June, staying below the 50-point mark that separates expansion from contraction.

** Acknowledging the weak economy, China has stepped up stimulus measures to boost confidence, though details so far have been sparse.

** China’s State Council on Monday issued measures to restore and expand consumption in the automobile, real estate and services sector, aiming to give full play to the “fundamental role” of consumption in economic development.

** Biggest cities, including Beijing and Shenzhen, said over the weekend they would implement measures to better meet the needs of homebuyers.

** Meanwhile, an opinion piece in the state-backed People’s Daily vowed to create a ‘bigger, better, and stronger’ private sector.

** The key to watch in the coming weeks are the property sector policies, analysts said.

** We believe the Chinese government will continue to gradually introduce more supportive policies for the ailing property sector as required, said Philip Meier, multi-asset portfolio manager at Gramercy.

** “The chances for a sustained recovery are the highest if the upcoming measures can create a virtuous cycle for the sector.”

** While Beijing’s recent moves should be encouraged, markets need to curb their enthusiasm regarding the scale and impact of these easing measures, Nomura chief China economist Ting Lu warned.

** Hong Kong-listed mainland property stocks erased gains in the morning and closed down 1.8%.

(Reporting by Summer Zhen; Editing by Janane Venkatraman and Varun H K)

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