* SSEC flat, CSI300 -0.1 pct, HSI +1.0 pct
* Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect daily southbound quota
used 31.5 pct as of noon
SHANGHAI, Sept 9 Hong Kong stocks rose again on
Friday, bucking the trend in Asian markets, with positive
momentum sustained by continuous inflows from the mainland as
Beijing allows Chinese insurers to participate in the
Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect scheme.
But China stocks are roughly flat, with August inflation
data seen as providing few, if any, incentives for fresh
monetary easings, and keeping many investors on the sidelines.
The Hang Seng index inched up 1.0 percent to
24,147.79 points by lunch break, having gained 3.8 percent so
far this week. The benchmark index is poised to have its best
week since mid-July.
The Hong Kong China Enterprises Index, which tracks
Chinese companies listed in the city, gained 1.2 percent, to
10,129.82, and is on track to post a weekly rise of 4.6 percent.
Yield-hungry mainland investors have stepped up buying Hong
Kong stocks over the past two weeks, seeking to front-run an
investment link between Shenzhen and Hong Kong to be launched as
soon as November.
The turning tide of funds got another boost after China's
regulator said late on Thursday the country's insurers can now
buy Hong Kong shares via the Shanghai-Hong Kong Connect program,
expanding their overseas investment channels.
"The news would further lift sentiment in Hong Kong, as the
rules would lead to inflows of more long-term Chinese money,"
First Shanghai Securities Ltd strategist Linus Yip said, adding
insurers prefer dividend-rich blue-chips.
Still, he cautioned that since Hong Kong stocks have been
over-bought recently, a technical correction is possible.
Reflecting the investment preference of Chinese investors,
financial stocks in Hong Kong posted strong gains.
In China, the CSI300 index fell 0.1 percent, to
3,336.81 points at the end of the morning session, while the
Shanghai Composite Index was unchanged at 3,096.57
China's consumer price inflation slowed to its weakest pace
in almost a year in August, pulled down by abating food costs,
although an encouraging moderation in producer price deflation
added to growing evidence of a steadying economy.
Chinese stocks have lagged the Hong Kong market recently,
with price premium Chinese listed companies enjoyed over their
Hong Kong peers shrinking to roughly 18 on Friday, the lowest in
(Samuel Shen, Winni Zhou and John Ruwitch; Editing by Shri