(Corrects to remove Nikkei index performance as Japan stock market is closed today)
* SSEC 0.5 pct, CSI300 0.6 pct, HSI 1.2 pct
* HK->Shanghai Connect daily quota used 4.1 pct, Shanghai->HK daily quota used 1.3 pct
* FTSE China A50 +0.7 pct, BNY Mellon ADR China Select Index +1.7 pct
SHANGHAI, March 21 (Reuters) - Stocks in China and Hong Kong rallied on Wednesday, led by real estate firms, after developers posted stellar profits for 2017.
** Amid mounting fears of a global trade war, China’s premier Li Keqiang said China would open its economy further, so that foreign and Chinese firms can compete on an equal footing.
** At 04:03 GMT, the Shanghai Composite index was up 0.48 percent at 3,306.28, while China’s blue-chip CSI300 index was up 0.64 percent at 4,103.95. ** Chinese H-shares listed in Hong Kong rose 1.31 percent at 12,762.91, while the Hang Seng Index was up 1.21 percent at 31,931.05. ** The smaller Shenzhen index was up 0.63 percent, while the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was higher by 0.26 percent. ** The advance was led by developers, with an index tracking major developers listed in Hong Kong up 2.2 percent by the lunch break.
** Many of China’s major property developers are expected to book annual best-ever profits for 2017, largely shrugging off the impact of Beijing’s tightening measures as they speed up the pace of developments and as they benefit from consolidation in the industry.
** China’s Country Garden Holdings Co Ltd said annual core profit doubled to a record on robust domestic sales and was hopeful about a high-profile property project in Malaysia despite a sharp drop in sales to mainland Chinese buyers. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.48 percent. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.3324 per U.S. dollar, 0.04 percent firmer than the previous close of 6.3352. ** The largest percentage gainers on the main Shanghai Composite index were Heilongjiang Interchina Water Treatment Co Ltd up 10.04 percent, followed by Shang Hai Kai Kai Industry Co Ltd gaining 10.04 percent and Linhai Co Ltd up by 10.03 percent. ** The largest percentage losers on the Shanghai index were China CSSC Holdings Ltd down 10.01 percent, followed by CSSC Offshore and Marine Engineering Group Co Ltd losing 6.38 percent and Shanghai Datun Energy Resources Co Ltd down by 4.36 percent. ** The top gainers among H-shares were China Resources Land Ltd up 7.71 percent, followed by China Vanke Co Ltd gaining 5.36 percent and PetroChina Co Ltd up by 3.56 percent. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were New China Life Insurance Co Ltd which has fallen 8.01 percent, ZhongAn Online P and C Insurance Co Ltd which lost 5.8 percent and CSPC Pharmaceutical Group Ltd down by 2.2 percent. ** About 8.97 billion shares have traded so far on the Shanghai exchange, roughly 50.4 percent of the market’s 30-day moving average of 17.81 billion shares a day. The volume traded was 13.99 billion as of the last full trading day. ** As of 04:03 GMT, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 25.20 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. ** The Shanghai stock index is below its 50-day moving average and below its 200-day moving average. ** The price-to-earnings ratio of the Shanghai index was 14.98 as of the last full trading day, while the dividend yield was 2 percent. ** In Hong Kong, the sub-index of the Hang Seng index tracking energy shares rose 2.7 percent, while the IT sector gained 1.4 percent. The top gainer on Hang Seng was China Resources Land Ltd up 7.71 percent, while the biggest loser was Wharf Real Estate Investment Company Ltd which was down 1.94 percent.
Reporting by Luoyan Liu and John Ruwitch; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath