Chinese shares rose on Tuesday after data showed an unexpected increase in Chinese factory activity in February as new orders improved. The CSI300 index rose 0.2% to 4,592.77 points at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.3% to 3,471.84 points. The Hang Seng Index fell 0.1% to 22,694.85 points. The Hong Kong China Enterprises Index remained unchanged at 8,023.05. China’s official manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) was 50.2 in February, beating analysts’ expectations and matching another private sector PMI reading.
China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao said on Tuesday that China needs to “do everything possible” to boost consumption this year. Consumer staples he rose 1.7%, while tourism stocks he rose 1.3%. China’s CSI Grand Agriculture Index rose his 0.9%, with pig farmers leading the rise. Wen’s Foodstuff Group, Muyuan Foods Co and New Hope Liuhe Co rose between 3.9% and 5.6%. Non-ferrous metals fell 2.3%. Hong Kong stocks were little changed over the lunch break in thin trading.
Zhiwei Zhang, chief economist at Pinpoint Asset Management, said: “These encouraging signs likely reflect the gradual spillover of supportive macro policy effects to the economy. Service activity in China also picked up sharply in February. All eyes are on the annual meeting of China’s Supreme Council, which begins on March 5th. At this meeting, the government will announce its economic targets for this year and possibly further stimulus measures.
High-level talks between Kyiv and Moscow last night ended with no agreement other than to continue talks. Shares of Hong Kong-listed Russian aluminum producer OK Rusal fell after it announced it had been forced to temporarily halt production at Ukraine’s Nikolaev alumina smelter the material sub-index fell 2.6%.
- Hong Kong remains steady as China stocks increase on rising factory activity
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