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China, Hong Kong stocks climb on upbeat data

* SSEC 0.8%, CSI300 0.8%, HSI 0.3%

* HK->Shanghai Connect daily quota used -2.9%, Shanghai->HK daily quota used 0.3%

* FTSE China A50 +1.1%

SHANGHAI, March 29 (Reuters) - China and Hong Kong stocks climbed on Monday as investors cheered latest data pointing to a robust economic recovery in the world’s second-largest economy.

** The CSI300 index rose 0.8%, to 5,077.21 at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.8%, to 3,445.40.

** Leading the gains, the CSI300 consumer staples index and the CSI300 energy index rose 2.4% and 4%, respectively.

** Annual profits at China’s industrial firms surged in the first two months of 2021, highlighting a rebound in the country’s manufacturing sector and a broad revival in economic activity from the coronavirus crisis early last year.

** Aiding sentiment, profit growth rose at the country’s major lenders in the fourth quarter of 2020.

** Three of China’s largest lenders on Friday booked a jump in fourth-quarter net profit of well over 40%, the first green shoots since the COVID-19 pandemic battered borrowers last year.

** The CSI300 banks index added 0.4%.

** “It’s now a good time to do strategic investments in the A-share market, as the problem of once lofty valuations has been basically resolved now following the sharp correction after the Lunar New Year,” Wang Mingli, a Shanghai-based hedge fund manager, said in a Wechat post.

** As of Friday, the CSI300 index had lost nearly 15% this year, led by high-flying sectors including consumer, healthcare and new energy firms. Worries that Beijing could move to rein in bubbles in the country’s financial markets for its conservative economic growth target had weighed on the markets.

** The Hang Seng index added 0.3%, to 28,431.35, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index gained 0.2%, to 10,988.17. (Reporting by Luoyan Liu and Andrew Galbraith; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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