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China, HK stocks rise, but off opening highs, after easing
February 5, 2015 / 4:47 AM / 3 years ago

China, HK stocks rise, but off opening highs, after easing

* CSI +1.4 pct; SSEC +1.0 pct; HSI +0.6 pct

* Pares some gains after opening up more than 2 pct

* PBOC easing had been widely expected

By Sue-Lin Wong

SHANGHAI, Feb 5 (Reuters) - China stocks shot up more than 2 percent on Thursday after the central bank eased policy in an attempt to combat an economic slowdown and ward off deflation, but profit taking pared gains by midday.

The move by the People’s Bank of China to cut reserve ratio requirements (RRR) for banks had been widely expected before the long Lunar New Year holidays in mid-February, helping fuel a stock market rally of around 40 percent in the last few months.

The CSI300 index ended the morning session up 1.4 percent at 3,449.57 points, after surging 2.5 percent at the open, while the Shanghai Composite Index was up 1.0 percent at 3,205.55 points, after opening up 2.4 percent.

“The strong opening was expected but the subsequent retreat during morning trading indicates that investors are cautious.” said Li Zheming, an analyst at Datong Securities in Dalian.

“The PBOC would need to continue rolling out easing policies throughout Q1 and Q2, for example more interest rate and RRR cuts, for the stock market to react positively in the longer term.”

Wednesday’s RRR cut was just the beginning in a series of monetary easing policies, said Nomura Holdings in a note.

Banks shares jumped 2.7 percent and the property sub-index rose 2.0 percent.

The NASDAQ-like ChiNext composite, which has been moving in the opposite direction to large caps, also made gains of 2.0 percent.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index was up 0.6 percent at 24,818.63 points, after opening 1.5 percent higher.

The Hong Kong China Enterprises Index gained 1.0 percent to 11,889.43.

Analysts said Hong Kong shares were weighed down by profit-taking pressure given concerns over China’s slowing economy.

Linus Yip, chief strategist at First Shanghai Securities in Hong Kong, said investors would continue to trade cautiously ahead of the New Year holiday given uncertainties both at home and abroad. (Additional reporting by Chen Yixin and the Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Kazunori Takada & Kim Coghill)

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