China shares rise on strong IPO debuts, Hong Kong also firms

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HONG KONG (June 26): China shares rose on Thursday as the first initial public listings (IPOs) to debut on the mainland in more than four months rose sharply, bolstering sentiment.

Hong Kong markets also regained some momentum, with investors hoping for a further delay in interest rate hikes in the United States after a shockingly poor reading on the economy for the first quarter.

By midday, the Hang Seng Index was up 0.9 percent at 23,079.27 points. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong added 1 percent.

The CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings climbed 0.6 percent, while the Shanghai Composite Index was up 0.5 percent at 2,036.14 points.

"The uptrend (in China markets) will be limited. The big picture of the economy in the first half of the year, future policy direction and interim results of listed companies are all important factors to look at," said Xiao Shijun, analyst at Guodu Securities in Beijing.

In Shenzhen, all three companies - Feitian Technologies , Wuxi Xuelang Environmental Technology, and Shandong Longda Meat Foodstuff - surged the maximum allowed 44 percent in their trading debuts, underscoring pent-up demand that bodes well for a raft of new issues to come.

The Nasdaq-style ChiNext Composite Index of mostly high tech startups listed in Shenzhen advanced 2 percent, drawing money from investors who were defeated in the fierce competition for new listings.

Leading gains in Hong Kong were Macau gaming stocks, which extended a rebound after months of selling pressure triggered by regulatory curbs.

Wynn Macau, Sands China and Galaxy Entertainment Group jumped 5.2, 4.2 and 3.8 percent, respectively.

China's two state oil giants were the biggest boosts for the H-share index, riding on a rally of oil prices due to concerns about escalating violence in Iraq. An upcoming reform plan led by the two to attract more private funds into the gas and oil sector also helped.

PetroChina was up 1.9 percent, while China Petroleum & Chemical Corp was 1.8 percent higher.

China Resources Cement Holdings leapt 4.1 percent after it said it expected a sharply higher profit for the first six months of 2014, thanks to higher selling prices of cement and clinker.

Luk Fook Holdings International gained 2.9 percent to its highest since April 15 after posting solid results late on Wednesday.