China shares buck Asia weakness, spur Hong Kong to highest 2012 close
* HSI +0.8 pct, H-shares +1.1 pct, CSI300 +1.9 pct
* Chinese developers jump on reported easing in home purchase curbs
* Investors rotating from HK to Chinese developers: trader
* CNBM leads China cement strength after Q3 earnings beat
HONG KONG, Nov 1 (Reuters) - Mainland Chinese shares posted their strongest daily gains in more than three weeks on Thursday, boosting Hong Kong stocks, following positive China economic data and a report that local governments were easing restrictions on property purchases.
Gains in both markets bucked the weaker trend in Asian markets after the state-run China Securities Journal reported some Chinese cities have sought to spur housing demand by making it easier to obtain funds for buyers.
This could, in turn, support land sales, a major revenue source for local governments.
The Hang Seng Index rose 0.8 percent to 21,821.9, a fresh 2012 closing high. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong jumped 1.1 percent.
On the mainland, the CSI300 Index of the top Shanghai and Shenzhen listings jumped 1.9 percent, while the Shanghai Composite Index climbed 1.7 percent. It was the best daily gain for both indexes since Oct. 9.
Hong Kong and mainland Chinese markets also saw increased turnover from Wednesday, with Shanghai bourse volume jumping 41 percent from the day before to its highest in a week.
``Any signs of policy moderation in an important sector like property is always going to help. The better PMI today is also a factor, it gives investors confidence that the economy is recovering,'' said Cao Xuefeng, head of research at Huaxi Securities in Chengdu.
Official and private China PMI manufacturing surveys for October on Thursday suggested China's economy is finally regaining traction, with the final 49.5 reading for the HSBC PMI its highest since February and the official reading moving back into expansionary territory.
This comes as China's central bank conducted its largest-ever net fund injection this week, signaling an intention to keep money market conditions relatively loose to support lending to the real economy ahead of a once-in-a-decade political transition, starting on Nov. 8 at the 18th Party Congress.
Shanghai-listed Poly Real Estate, among China's largest developers by sales, jumped 4.4 percent to its highest close since mid July. The Shanghai property sub-index was a standout outperformer among sectors, rising 3.4 percent.
China Vanke jumped 3.3 percent in Shenzhen.
In Hong Kong, traders said some investors were rotating out of Hong Kong developers and into Chinese developers, hoping that the worst was over for the latter after some major Chinese developers reported positive third-quarter earnings.
On the other hand, some investors expect more property policy curbs in Hong Kong could be in store because of greater capital inflows. On Thursday, the territory's defacto central bank intervened for the seventh time in two weeks to defend the local currency's peg to the dollar.
Still, China Overseas Land & Investment reversed early losses to end up 1.5 percent, while Evergrande gained 2.7 percent in strong volume.
Hong Kong developers Cheung Kong Holdings and Sun Hung Kai Properties firmed 0.4 and 0.7 percent, respectively, continuing their recovery after steep losses earlier this week after Hong Kong announced home purchasing curbs on Friday aimed at reducing foreign demand.
CHINA CEMENT STRONG AFTER CNBM EARNINGS BEAT
Other growth-sensitive sectors were also stronger, on anticipation that even a modest pick-up in the Chinese property sector will spur demand for construction materials.
Chinese cement producers were among the top percentage gainers on the day after China National Building Material (CNBM) posted a smaller-than-expected 29 percent fall in third-quarter net profit.
Shares of CNBM soared 5.1 percent to its highest close since late April, with a few brokerages upgrading their outlook, including Shenyin Wanguo and Jeffries. Anhui Conch Cement jumped 4.9 percent in Hong Kong and 3.3 percent in Shanghai, both in strong volumes.
The outperformance of mainland markets also buoyed A-share proxy plays such as Chinese insurers and brokerages, both sectors highly vested to the onshore market.
China Life Insurance rose 2.2 percent in Hong Kong and 4.8 percent in Shanghai. Citic Securities rose 2.3 percent in Hong Kong and 2.8 percent in Shanghai.