* SSEC +0.2 pct, CSI300 +0.3 pct, HSI +0.4 pct
* PBOC said China should prudently manage deleveraging
SHANGHAI Feb 16 Hong Kong stocks climbed to a
fresh five-month high on Thursday morning on bullish sentiment
fuelled by Wall Street's ongoing rally and demand from China,
but gave back part of their initial gains on profit-taking.
China stocks rebounded, with gains led by coal miners and
metal firms, as the publication of regional governments'
investment targets lifted commodities markets.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng index added 0.4 percent, to
The Hong Kong China Enterprises Index, which tracks
mainland companies listed in Hong Kong, climbed to a 15-month
intraday high, up 0.2 percent at midday, to 10,453.01 points.
The index's trade volume shot up to the highest since July 2015
on Wednesday, nearly doubling the previous day's.
Analysts said sustained southbound inflows helped the Hong
Kong stock market to stage a mini-rally, attributing the
mainland demand to Beijing's programme of deleveraging to
tackle asset price bubbles as well as Hong Kong stocks' lower
valuations versus mainland peers.
China's central bank said on Wednesday China should
prudently manage its debt deleveraging process to avoid a
liquidity crisis and asset bubbles -- reinforcing views of
monetary policy tightening on the mainland this year.
China Rater Investment Management Co, a Guangzhou-based
hedge fund, has identified Hong Kong as its core investment
market over the next few years.
"Chinese investors including mutual funds and major insurers
have been steadily increasing their allocation to Hong Kong
stocks," said General Manager Ye Hongbin.
Mainland investors used 2.7 billion yuan ($393.74 million)
on Wednesday, or 25.6 percent of the daily quota, compared with
an average of less than 11 percent in January.
The southbound money flow has helped narrow the price gap
between Chinese listed shares and Hong Kong shares.
The gap hit its narrowest since Dec 2014 in early trading
and stood at 117.94 at midday, meaning China-listed companies
are on average about 18 percent more expensive than Hong Kong
A gauge of tech stocks added 1.5 percent by the lunch break
after receiving a boost from index heavyweight Tencent Holdings
Ltd, which firmed 2 percent and hit a 3-1/2-month
On the mainland, the blue-chip CSI300 index rose
0.3 percent, to 3,430.94 points, while the Shanghai Composite
Index gained 0.2 percent, to 3,219.22 points.
China's state planner said it would act to boost the supply
of high-quality steel to stabilise physical and futures prices,
as part of its effort to contain speculation in the commodities
A gauge of non-ferrous metal firms added 2.7
percent and an index tracking coal miners gained
($1 = 6.8574 Chinese yuan renminbi)
(Reporting by Jackie Cai and John Ruwitch; Editing by Eric