China stocks climb on upbeat industrial profit data

Shanghai — China stocks rose on Monday, helped by strong industrial profit data that underscored a continued recovery in the world’s second-largest economy.

The CSI300 index rose 0.7% to 5,078.60 by the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai composite index gained 0.3% to 3,406.69.

Consumer firms led the gains, with the CSI300 consumer staples index and the consumer discretionary index rising 2.4% and 2.2%, respectively.

Profits at China’s industrial firms grew robustly in November for a seventh month of gains, supported by strong industrial production and sales, as manufacturers continue their recovery from the Covid-19 downturn.

China will overtake the US to become the world’s biggest economy in 2028, five years earlier than previously estimated due to the contrasting recoveries of the two countries from the pandemic, a think-tank said.

China’s economic recovery is better than expected, Guotai Junan Securities said in a report.

The direction of economic recovery overseas in 2021 is clear, while the sporadic resurgence of coronavirus cases in China has limited impact on the momentum and pace of the country’s economic recovery, the brokerage added.

In Hong Kong, tech stocks weighed on the market. The Hang Seng index was unchanged at 26,391.20 points, while the Hong Kong China enterprises index lost 0.7% to 10,361.85.

The Hang Seng tech index dropped 3.3% by the midday break.

Hong Kong shares of Alibaba Group fell 7% and were on course for a sixth straight session of decline.

China’s central bank disclosed on Sunday it had asked the country’s payments giant Ant Group to shake up its lending and other consumer finance operations, the latest blow to its billionaire founder and controlling shareholder Jack Ma.