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China stocks rebound, led by consumer plays; Hong Kong tracks French election rally
April 25, 2017 / 4:35 AM / 8 months ago

China stocks rebound, led by consumer plays; Hong Kong tracks French election rally

* SSEC +0.4 pct, CSI300 +0.5 pct, HSI +0.9 pct

* China’s draft securities law to tighten regulation

* MSCI World index hits record high overnight

SHANGHAI, April 25 (Reuters) - China stocks rebounded on Tuesday morning following the previous session’s sharp sell-off, with a jump in consumer stocks providing fresh evidence of investors rotating out of growth shares into defensive plays.

Hong Kong shares also rose, following euphoria in global equities triggered by the market-friendly outcome of the first round of the French presidential election that sharply reduced expectations of a Brexit-like result in the second round of the poll in May.

China’s blue-chip CSI300 index rose 0.5 percent, to 3,447.10 points by the lunch break, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.4 percent to 3,142.67 points.

Yang Hai, strategist at Kaiyuan Securities, described the rebound, which came after the market’s over 1 percent drop on Monday - the biggest percentage loss for the year - as “technical” in nature.

“The market bounced after being over-sold,” Yang said, attributing the recent weakness to regulatory tightening.

“The regulatory crackdown on shadow banking is targeting mainly the banking system, not the stock market, but equities have been implicated.”

Analysts also cited the heavy-handed crackdown on speculation by top securities regulator Liu Shiyu, who is guiding money into cash-rich blue-chips.

Underlining the tightening regulatory environment, the official Xinhua News Agency said late on Monday that the new draft of China’s securities law would tighten rules preventing insider trading and better protect the interests of investors.

Most sectors gained on Monday, with consumer stocks outperforming the broader market with a 2.3 percent rise, continuing the recent trend.

An index tracking liquor makers jumped 2.7 percent, as Kweichow Moutai Co, which produces the Chinese alcoholic drink baijiu, flirted with record highs, jumping 4.3 percent.

HONG KONG

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index added 0.9 percent to 24,366.98 points, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index gained 1.3 percent, to 10,240.64.

Overnight, the MSCI World index surged 1.6 percent to an all-time high, as French stocks jumped over 4 percent.

Wall Street gained over 1 percent, as the market priced in expectations that Emmanuel Macron, an internationalist, would likely defeat anti-euro nationalist Marine Le Pen in the second round of the French presidential election in two weeks.

Samuel Shen and John Ruwitch; Editing by Sam Holmes

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