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China, Hong Kong stocks rise as virus worries ease

* SSEC 1.1%, CSI300 1.4%, HSI 0.7%

* HK->Shanghai Connect daily quota used 5.4%, Shanghai->HK daily quota used 7.2%

* FTSE China A50 +0.7%

SHANGHAI, Feb 8 (Reuters) - China and Hong Kong stocks climbed on Monday as the country reported zero new local cases of the novel coronavirus, with sentiment aided by Beijing’s latest reform measures for the stock market.

** The CSI300 index rose 1.4% to 5,559.02 at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 1.1% to 3,533.38.

** Leading the gains, the CSI300 materials index jumped 4.9% and the CSI300 healthcare index added 1.9%.

** China reported no new locally transmitted mainland COVID-19 case for the first time in nearly two months, official data showed on Monday, adding to signs that it has managed to stamp out the latest wave of the disease.

** Lifting investors’ mood, China’s securities regulator said it has given the greenlight to merging Shenzhen Stock Exchange’s main board with the SME board.

** “It’s an inevitable choice of the deepening capital market reforms, and would help the capital market better serve the development of small and medium firms via direct financing,” China Securities said in a note.

** In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index added 0.7% to 29,480.71, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index gained 0.7% to 11,636.54.

** Market participants looked past the country’s market regulator releasing new anti-monopoly guidelines on Sunday that targeted internet platforms.

** The Hang Seng tech index tracking many of China’s tech giants inched up 0.2% by midday.

** Mainland investors continued to flock to Hong Kong, purchasing net of HK$6.5 billion worth of HK shares by midday via the Stock Connect, according to Refinitiv data.

** The southbound legs of the Stock Connect linking mainland and Hong Kong will halt from Feb. 9 through Feb. 17 during China’s Lunar New Year holiday, according to Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges. (Reporting by Luoyan Liu and Andrew Galbraith; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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