SHANGHAI, Dec 19 (Reuters) - China and Hong Kong stocks followed Asian markets higher, inspired by a record-setting session on Wall Street where investors bet on the passage of sweeping tax legislation that could lift corporate earnings next year. ** At 04:14 GMT, the Shanghai Composite index was up 17.44 points or 0.53 percent at 3,285.36. ** China’s blue-chip CSI300 index was up 0.8 percent, with its financial sector sub-index higher by 1.31 percent. The consumer staples sector was up 0.94 percent, while the real estate index rose 0.85 percent and the healthcare sub-index gained 0.47 percent. ** Chinese H-shares listed in Hong Kong rose 0.98 percent to 11,527.53 with the Hang Seng Index up 0.83 percent at 29,291.07. ** The smaller Shenzhen index was up 0.55 percent and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was 0.84 percent higher. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.37 percent while Japan’s Nikkei index was up 0.01 percent. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.6156 per U.S. dollar, 0.02 percent firmer than the previous close of 6.617. ** The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were Hangzhou Advance Gearbox Group Co Ltd up 9.95 percent, followed by Easysight Supply Chain Management Co Ltd gaining 9.71 percent and Shandong Hualu Hengsheng Chemical Co Ltd up by 6.52 percent. ** The largest percentage losses in the Shanghai index were Tibet Summit Resources Co Ltd down 6.93 percent, followed by Nanjing Central Emporium Group Stocks Co Ltd losing 3.58 percent and Shanghai Belling Corp Ltd down by 3.48 percent. ** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is up 5.29 percent, while China’s H-share index is up 21.5 percent. Shanghai stocks have declined 1.49 percent this month. ** The top gainers among H-shares were New China Life Insurance Co Ltd up 5.04 percent, followed by Ping An Insurance Group Co of China Ltd gaining 3.95 percent and Air China Ltd up by 3.43 percent. ** The three biggest percentage decliners in H-shares were China Vanke Co Ltd which has fallen 0.88 percent, China Telecom Corp Ltd which has lost 0.8 percent and Byd Co Ltd down by 0.6 percent. ** About 6.01 billion shares have traded so far on the Shanghai exchange, roughly 36.4 percent of the market’s 30-day moving average of 16.54 billion shares a day. The the last full trading day’s volume traded was 12.07 billion shares. ** As of 04:14 GMT, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 29.55 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. ** The Shanghai stock index is below its 50-day moving average and above its 200-day moving average. ** The price-to-earnings ratio of the Shanghai index was 14.65 as of the last full trading day while the dividend yield was 2 percent. ** So far this week, the market capitalisation of the Shanghai stock index has risen by 0.17 percent to 28.50 trillion yuan. ** In Hong Kong, the the Hang Seng sub-index tracking energy shares rose 0.4 percent while the IT sector rose 2 percent. The top gainer on Hang Seng was Sunny Optical Technology Group Co Ltd. up 3.96 percent, while the biggest loser was Wharf Holdings Ltd which was down 1.68 percent.
Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Eric Meijer