China stocks rose on Tuesday as financial stocks bounced and the offshore yuan strengthened on suspected state bank intervention, in what could be the latest official move to dampen currency depreciation fears which are rattling Chinese companies.
The CSI300 index rose 1.0 percent, to 3,225.29 points at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.4 percent, to 3,028.04 points.
China CSI300 stock index futures for January rose 0.6 percent, to 3,224, 1.3 points below the current value of the underlying index.
“Financial stocks have been under severe pressure recently and so it’s not surprising to see a bit of a recovery today,” said Zhang Qi, analyst at Haitong Securities in Shanghai.
“But there are still some uncertain factors including the big recent moves in the yuan, and investors are still cautious.”
Sharp falls in major Chinese equity indexes in early January have been blamed in part by analysts on the big move down in the yuan in the first week of the year, which intensified fears of further depreciation and risked accelerating capital outflows.
In particular, some companies that have borrowed heavily in global dollar debt markets are increasingly planning early repayments of their dollar-denominated loans and bonds as the Chinese yuan’s weakness extends into the new year.
In morning trade on Tuesday, the offshore yuan continued its sharp rise begun on Monday and by late morning had completely eliminated the price gap against the dollar with the onshore yuan.
Traders said that could be a move by Beijing to shore up confidence and dampen depreciation expectations by Chinese state banks, which is also sparking increased capital flight.
Shares may have also been boosted by reports that the State Council may take a stronger hand in financial market regulation following a series of perceived misteps over the past six months under the current regulatory regime.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index added 0.3 percent to 19,947.40 points.
The Hong Kong China Enterprises Index gained 0.5 percent to 8,548.48.
The index measuring price differences between dual-listed companies in Shanghai and Hong Kong stood at 140.75.
A value above 100 indicates Shanghai shares are pricing at a premium to shares in the same company trading in Hong Kong, and vice versa.
The northbound quota for the Hong Kong-Shanghai Stock Connect, currently set at 13 billion yuan, saw net inflows of 0.19 billion yuan.
Total volume of A shares traded in Shanghai was 12.47 billion shares, while Shenzhen volume was 12.80 billion shares.
Total trading volume of companies included in the HSI index was 0.7 billion shares.