SHANGHAI: China A-shares climbed to more than three-month highs on Wednesday, and Hong Kong’s benchmark rose after data showed surprising growth in industrial production in May, and as investors expect more policy support to fuel a growth rebound.
At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was up 0.5% at 3,305.41, after touching its highest level since March 8 earlier in the session.
The blue-chip CSI300 index, which also touched its highest point since March 8 on Wednesday, finished 1.32% higher.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index was up 240.22 points, or 1.14%, at 21,308.21. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index rose 1.63% to 7,452.89.
The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking mainland property firms rose 3.13%, the tech index rose 2.35% and the financial sector ended 1.48% higher.
The gains came after data showed industrial production rose unexpectedly in May, though consumption data remained weaker as shoppers were confined to their homes in Shanghai and other cities.
“We had a pretty full correction from January to April and market confidence has been steadily recovering since the turnaround at the end of April,” said Zhang Yanbing, an analyst at Zheshang Securities.
“As the market continues to improve, investors have become increasingly optimistic.” But while investors are hoping for continued support for the economy, China’s central bank chose to keep its medium-term lending rates unchanged on Wednesday.
“The government is likely to respond to... economic weakness by delivering more fiscal stimulus. At the same time, to avoid a rapid rise in fiscal leverage, the government may also continue to deregulate some sectors to help promote tax revenue growth and employment,” Iris Pang, chief economist for Greater China at ING, said in a note.
Refinitiv data showed strong inflows from foreign investors on Wednesday, totalling more than 16.2 billion yuan ($2.41 billion) through the Stock Connect’s Northbound leg.
The financial sector sub-index ended 3.03% higher, the consumer staples sector rose 0.74%, the real estate index jumped 3.6% and the healthcare sub-index gained 1.55%.
The smaller Shenzhen index ended up 0.64% and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was higher by 1.051%.
Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.07%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 1.14%.
At 07:07, the yuan was quoted at 6.7196 per US dollar, 0.34% firmer than the previous close of 6.7425.