China shares buoyed by defence-linked firms, Sinopec slumps

Clement Tan and Alice Woodhouse
Sunday, 24 Nov 2013 | 11:27 PM ET

* HSI +0.2 pct, H-shares flat, CSI300 +0.6 pct

* Defense-related A-shares lifted by Beijing airspace rules

* Great Wall Motor surges after new model launch at auto show

* Sinopec sinks after Qingdao oil blast

HONG KONG, Nov 25 (Reuters) - China shares bounced off the day's lows early on Monday, buoying Hong Kong markets, as weakness for oil giant Sinopec Corp was offset by strength in defense-related companies after Beijing imposed new rules on airspace over disputed waters.

At midday, the Hang Seng Index was up 0.2 percent at 23,732.4 points, still just shy of the year's intra-day high at 23,944.7. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong was flat.

The CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings climbed 0.6 percent after earlier touching its lowest in about a week, while the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.3 percent.

"There looks to be some speculation in defense-related stocks after Beijing moved to impose new rules, but these stocks have also risen by quite a bit after the plan for a National Security Council was announced," said Zhang Qi, a Haitong Securities analyst based in Shanghai.

Wireless communication equipment manufacturer Shaanxi Fenghuo Electronics jumped by the 10 percent limit in Shenzhen, while Jiangxi Hongdu Aviation Industry spiked 7.5 percent in Shanghai.

Hongdu A-shares are now up 54.4 percent this year, compared to the 4.4 percent decline for the CSI300 over the same time period.

China on Saturday published coordinates for a newly established "East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone", which covers most of that sea and includes the skies over the disputed islands.

Beijing warned that it would take "defensive emergency measures" against aircraft that failed to identify themselves properly in the airspace, prompting both Washington and Tokyo to sharply criticise the move.

Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings climbed 2.6 percent to its highest in nearly a month in Hong Kong, buoyed by sterling listing debuts made by two Chinese technology companies in New York last Friday.

Great Wall Motor jumped 3.5 percent in Hong Kong and 8.7 percent in Shanghai on hopes that its newly launched Harvard H8 model at the Guangzhou Auto Show will buoy earnings growth.

Chinese insurers listed in Hong Kong slipped as investors took some profit after strong gains last week, while those listed in the mainland rose, narrowing a steep divergence for some of the names in the sector.

Ping An Insurance shed 1 percent in Hong Kong, but jumped 3 percent in Shanghai. Before Monday, its H-share listing was trading at a 43.5 percent premium to its A-share listing, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Chinese oil giant China Petroleum and Chemical Corp (Sinopec) fell 2.1 percent in Hong Kong and 2.6 percent in Shanghai.

The pipeline explosion in Qingdao, one of China's largest crude oil import terminals, killed 52 people and prompted calls for safety checks on the country's oil and gas pipeline network from President Xi Jinping.

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