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Hong Kong: Chinese stocks rally on government support measures

Chinese stocks in Hong Kong rallied, rebounding from the biggest quarterly loss in four years, as trading resumed after a holiday and the government stepped up targeted support for the economy.

[HONG KONG] Chinese stocks in Hong Kong rallied, rebounding from the biggest quarterly loss in four years, as trading resumed after a holiday and the government stepped up targeted support for the economy.

The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index advanced three per cent to 9,651.45 at 10:28 am local time, heading for its biggest gain in three weeks. The gauge tumbled 28 per cent last quarter. China Resources Land jumped 7.8 per cent after the People's Bank of China reduced the minimum home down payment for first-time buyers, while automakers climbed for a second day after authorities cut a tax on passenger-vehicle purchases. Casino operators surged on a report China is studying supportive measures for Macau to revive the city's economy.

Chinese policy makers are increasing targeted stimulus after five interest-rate reductions since November failed to reverse an economic slowdown. The decline in the property down- payment requirement was the first in five years, while the support measures for the auto industry follow five straight months of declining sales. The nation's growth will slow to 6.8 per cent this year, below the government's goal of 7 per cent, according to the median of economist estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

"Sentiment was heartened by measures to support the property market," said Castor Pang, head of research at Core- Pacific Yamaichi Hong Kong. "We may see more measures coming in this quarter for the government to meet the 7 per cent growth target. If index heavyweights such as properties and finance shares move, the market may stage some rebound from here. H shares have hit a bottom."

The Hang Seng Index added 2 per cent. Hong Kong's financial markets were closed on Thursday, while mainland markets will remain shut until Oct 8 for National Day holidays.

Data yesterday showed China's official factory gauge stabilized around a three-year low in September. The reading remaining below the usual level for the month shows "relatively weak domestic and external demand," according to a statement released by government statisticians.

Anhui Conch Cement Co jumped 6.2 per cent and Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties headed for its biggest gain in five weeks. The PBoC cut the minimum down payment for buyers in cities without purchase restrictions to 25 percent from 30 per cent, according to a statement released on its website Wednesday. The previous requirement had been in place since 2010, when the government boosted the ratio from 20 per cent to help curb property speculation.

Automakers Soar Great Wall Motor Co soared 13 per cent, heading for the biggest two-day advance in about seven years. Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd. climbed 4.9 per cent.

China cut the purchase tax on vehicles with engines 1.6 liters or smaller by half to 5 per cent effective Oct 1 through the end of next year, according to the State Council, or cabinet. The directive also forbade local governments from restricting the purchase and operation of electric vehicles and reiterated support for promoting new-energy vehicles and battery development.

Galaxy Entertainment Group surged 9.1 per cent to led gains by Macau casino operators. China is studying measures to help revive Macau's economy, Macao Daily reported, citing Li Gang, director of the Chinese government's local liaison office.

Gross gambling revenue in the former Portuguese colony decreased 33 per cent to 17.1 billion patacas (S$3.07 billion) in the city last month, narrowing from August's 35.5 percent drop, data from Macau's Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau showed. The latest decline was in line with the estimates from nine analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.