December 17, 2015 / 4:42 AM / 2 years ago

China, Hong Kong stocks rally as Fed decision removes uncertainty

* CSI300 +1.7 pct; SSEC +1.5 pct; HSI +1.0 pct

* Fed rate decision makes China policy-making easier - investor

* China forecast eases economic hard landing fears

SHANGHAI, Dec 17 (Reuters) - China and Hong Kong stocks rallied on Thursday, tracking global markets on improved risk appetite after the U.S. Federal Reserve raised rates for the first time in nearly a decade, as expected.

The Fed tightening removed a major source of uncertainty that had haunted investors for some time, potentially improving risk appetite in the short term, investors said.

“The shoe finally hit the floor,” Dacheng Fund Management Co said in a note.

“Risk appetite will likely increase because in the short term, there’s no need to be excessively cautious.”

China’s blue-chip CSI300 index rose 1.7 percent, to 3,748.45 points by midday, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 1.5 percent, to 3,568.68 points.

The Hang Seng index added 1.0 percent, to 21,906.35 points while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index gained 1.8 percent, to 9,712.30.

The market was also aided by a central bank forecast that eased concerns of a sharp economic slowdown in China.

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said in a working report on Wednesday that China’s annual economic growth was likely to slow mildly to 6.8 percent next year from an expected 6.9 percent this year, as “the number of positive factors will gradually increase in 2016”.

Dacheng expected the PBOC to further cut banks’ reserve requirements to bolster growth, as the long-anticipated Fed rate decision removed uncertainty in domestic policy-making.

Property shares surged on Thursday amid strengthened hopes of fresh stimulus. The sector was identified by PBOC as key to driving growth in China’s fixed-asset investment next year.

China Vanke Co Ltd jumped 7 percent, after exchange disclosure showed that Jushenghua Co, a firm with property and insurance businesses, continued buying Vanke’s shares after recently becoming its biggest shareholder.

The announcement came amid signs that Chinese insurers have been accumulating shares in property firms on the secondary market, taking advantage of the sector’s modest valuations and improving outlook.

Hong Kong-listed developer Sino-Ocean Land Holdings Ltd said in an exchange filing on Wednesday that Chinese insurer Anbang Insurance Group had raised its stake in the company to 30 percent by acquiring shares worth HK$3.3 billion ($426 million) this month.

Sino-Ocean shares edged up 0.4 percent on Thursday.

Reporting by Samuel Shen and Nathaniel Taplin; Editing by Jacqueline Wong

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