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China, HK stocks join Asian markets rally on economic recovery hopes

SHANGHAI, Dec 30 (Reuters) - China and Hong Kong shares posted robust gains on Wednesday, with the blue-chip CSI300 index rising to its highest in more than five years, as Asian stocks hit a record high on hopes of a strong economic recovery next year.

** China’s blue-chip CSI300 index rose 1% to 5,093.86 at the end of the morning session, touching the highest level since June 2015. The Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.9%, to 3,409.48.

** Shenzhen’s start-up board jumped nearly 3%, as investors bet on green technologies.

** In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index added 1.3% to 26,917.32, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index gained 1.4%, to 10,599.66.

** Investors shrugged off Trump administration’s move to strengthen an executive order barring U.S. investment in Chinese firms with alleged military backing. Global index publisher FTSE Russell said it may delete more Chinese companies from its global benchmarks in response.

** Most sectors climbed, with the biggest gainers being energy and resources shares. Investors are anticipating a robust economic recovery as several nations seek to contain the coronavirus’ spread with vaccines.

** Environmental protection shares also jumped. Beijing has vowed to reduce carbon emissions to meet the government’s green pledge.

** In Hong Kong, a sharp rebound in tech shares helped the market. The sector witnessed panic-selling earlier this week triggered by Beijing’s anti-trust probe into Alibaba Group , and its affiliate Ant Group.

** Alibaba’s Hong Kong shares jumped nearly 6%, while other internet stocks including JD.com and Meituan also bounced sharply.

** Ant Group Co Ltd is considering folding most of its online financial businesses, including consumer lending, into a holding company that would be regulated like traditional financial firms, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said. (Reporting by Samuel Shen and Andrew Galbraith)

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