China shares gain on recovery hopes; top chipmaker SMIC slides

* SSEC 0.2%, CSI300 0.2%, HSI 0.9%

* HK->Shanghai Connect daily quota used 3.8%, Shanghai->HK daily quota used -0.4%

* FTSE China A50 +0.6%

BEIJING/SHANGHAI, Dec 16 (Reuters) - China shares rose on Wednesday, with financials and energy shares leading the gains, as optimism around a recovery in the world’s second-largest economy outweighed losses in top chipmaker SMIC and the tech-heavy index. ** At the midday break, the Shanghai Composite index was up 0.18% at 3,373.16, while its blue-chip CSI300 index was up 0.22%. ** The financial sector sub-index was up 0.35%, and the energy sub-index up 0.47%. ** The start-up board ChiNext Composite index was weaker by 0.27% and Shanghai’s tech-focused STAR50 index was down 1.29%, dragged by the slump of heavy-weight Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp . ** Shanghai-listed shares of SMIC slumped as much as 9.8% before it dropped 7% at the mid-day break after the company said its board is aware of Mong-Song Liang’s intention to resign from CEO position on Wednesday. ** The smaller Shenzhen index was down 0.16%. ** Broadly on the economic recovery front, analyst say activity and spending data released on Tuesday suggest that China’s economy continued to accelerate across all fronts. ** China’s factory output grew at its fastest pace in 20 months in November, as revived consumer spending and a gradual easing of COVID-19 restrictions in major trading partners lifted demand for the country’s manufactured goods. ** “The economy will remain strong in the near term, as households run down the excess savings they accumulated this year,” analysts at Capital Economics said in a note.

** Chinese H-shares listed in Hong Kong rose 0.74% to 10,476.96, while the Hang Seng Index was up 0.82% at 26,422.87. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.26% while Japan’s Nikkei index was up 0.13%.

Reporting by Cheng Leng in Beijing and Andrew Galbraith in Shanghai; editing by Uttaresh.V