* SSEC +0.4 pct, CSI300 +0.4 pct, HSI +0.2 pct
* China factory activity expanded faster than expected in
* S.F. Holding on track to rise for 7th straight session
SHANGHAI, March 1 China stocks rose on Wednesday
after better-than-expected factory activity surveys offered
fresh signs of economic recovery, days ahead of the country's
annual parliamentary meeting that investors hope will unveil
In Hong Kong, shares were little changed as Asian investors
gave a lukewarm response to U.S. President Donald Trump's
speech, which contained few specifics or surprises.
Both China's CSI300 index and the Shanghai
Composite Index rose 0.4 percent by the lunch break to
3,466.35 points and 3,254.17 points, respectively.
China's factory activity expanded faster than expected in
February, with growth in both output and orders accelerating,
official and private factory surveys showed on Wednesday.
"This is the 7th consecutive month that China's official
manufacturing PMI stayed within expansionary territory,
suggesting that industrial activity remains buoyant," said Zhou
Hao, emerging markets economist at Commerzbank AG in Singapore.
Analysts say the survey results inject a dose of confidence
into the market, at a time when fears surge that the recent
recovery, triggered by government stimulus, has seen its day.
"There has been concern that the economic recovery we've
seen is short-lived, and that growth will slow again in the
second quarter. So this is good news," said Chang Chengwei,
analyst at Hengtai Futures.
Chang added that investors were also hopeful that the
National People's Congress (NPC), which starts this weekend,
will unveil reform policies that "exceed expectations."
All main sectors in China rose on Wednesday, with transport
and property shares leading the
Shares of express delivery firm S.F. Holding Co Ltd
were on track to rise for the seventh day in a row,
supported by strong profits and the successful completion of a
backdoor listing last week.
S.F. Holding has surged more than 80 percent in the past
week, becoming Shenzhen's biggest listed firm, and catapulting
the fortune of its founder Wang Wei past that of Ma Huateng,
founder of internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index added 0.2 percent,
to reach 23,788.45 points, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises
Index was unchanged at 10,299.32 points.
The market's sharp rally - Hang Seng is up more than 8
percent this year - appears to be losing steam, with the upward
trend depending largely on money inflows from regions such as
In February, Chinese investors spent 68.1 billion yuan
($9.90 billion) on Hong Kong stocks via the Shanghai-Hong Kong
Stock Connect, nearly double the amount from January, according
to the official China Securities Journal.
($1 = 6.8761 Chinese yuan renminbi)
(Samuel Shen and John Ruwitch; Editing by Randy Fabi)