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SHANGHAI: China stocks ended higher on Monday, after the country’s securities regulatory body chief said the agency will make stable capital market operations a top priority, while carmakers surged on hopes of rising demand for new energy vehicles.

Hong Kong shares closed almost flat, as investors closely eyed geopolitical developments with US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi starting a tour in Asia.

The blue-chip CSI300 index rose 0.5% to end at 4,188.68, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.2% to 3,259.96.

The Hang Seng index rose 0.1% to 20,165.84, while the China Enterprises Index lost 0.1% to 6,876.71.

“We must always adhere to the bottom-line mentality and resolutely prevent ‘market failure’ from causing abnormal fluctuations,” said Yi Huiman, chairman of China Securities Regulatory Commission.

A private survey showed China’s factories lapsed into slower growth in July, following a bearish official survey on Sunday.

China reported 393 new coronavirus cases for Sunday, down from the daily caseload of around 1,000 last week.

Stocks in energy, semiconductors and new energy rose between 1.5% and 2.2%.

To spur consumption, China will extend an exemption on purchase tax on “new energy” vehicles (NEVs), following a cut to the car purchase tax, pushing automobiles and NEVs jumping 4.2% and 3.7% each.

Real estate developers lost 2.3% and mainland developers traded in Hong Kong declined 1.1% to a record low, after a private survey showed July new home prices and sales volume both fell from a month earlier.

Alibaba Group dropped 3.8% in Hong Kong, after it became one of the lasted firms facing delisting risks from the United States.

Nio soared 8.3%, after the electric car maker plans to open its first overseas plant in September to make power products for the European market.

Pelosi was set to kick-off a tour of four Asian countries on Monday in Singapore amid intense speculation that she may risk the wrath of Beijing by also visiting Taiwan, the self-ruled island claimed by China.

China views visits by US officials to Taiwan as sending an encouraging signal to the pro-independence camp in the island.

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