Business / Markets

Stock connect program pushes Chinese shares to 3-year high

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-11-11 09:46

BEIJING -- Chinese shares soared to close at a nearly three-year high on Monday following the announcement of the launch of the much-anticipated Shanghai-Hong Kong stock connect pilot program.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index gained 55.5 points, or 2.3 percent, to close at 2,473.67 points, the highest since Nov 15 of 2011 when it closed at 2,529.76 points.

The smaller Shenzhen Component Index closed at 8,410.22 points, up 175.35 points or 2.13 percent.

Total turnover on the two bourses shrank to 440.6 billion yuan ($71.9 billion) from Friday's 471.9 billion yuan.

Most of A-shares at Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges rose in the day. In Shanghai, 721 shares gained while 150 shares lost. In Shenzhen, 883 shares rose with 533 losers.

Bluechips largely outperformed small-cap stocks as they are expected to be the main beneficiaries of the upcoming Shanghai-Hong Kong stock connect.

The securities watchdogs of the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong announced in a joint statement that the Shanghai-Hong Kong stock connect will start stock trading on Nov. 17.

The pilot program will enable investors to trade eligible shares listed on the other's market through local securities firms or brokers.

The statement, which was released before the opening of mainland and Hong Kong stock markets, helped push up Chinese mainland shares.

Shares of securities brokers, banks, steelmakers, distilleries, and companies of road and bridge construction, shipping and cement led the charge.

The sub-index for financial companies advanced 2.82 percent in the day, led by gains of securities brokers. Fuzhou-based Industrial Securities Co Ltd jumped by the daily limit of 10 percent. Huatai Securities advanced 8.34 percent.

Shares related to China's proposed Silk Road Fund also jumped in the day, with Xinjiang Urban Construction Group Co Ltd and Xinjiang International Industry Co Ltd jumping by the daily limit of 10 percent.

Steelmakers also gained remarkably amid expectations that the Silk Road Fund is set to boost China's investment in neighboring countries' infrastructure, which may help domestic steel producers to digest their excessive capacity.

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday said China will contribute $40 billion to set up a Silk Road Fund on strengthening connectivity and improving cooperation in the country's neighborhood.

Ai Tangming, a Beijing-based stock market analyst, said the stock connect program is expected to have a positive influence on the mainland's A-share markets in the long run, and the impact has just begun.

And China's Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road initiatives are set to shore up the slowing Chinese economy, he said.

These two factors could help the mainland stock markets to have a lasting bull run, Ai claimed.

Chinese shares, which had been bearish for years, have continued to rise since the end of July. Market sentiment has improved significantly in the past three months, as more analysts and investors are talking of a bull run.

By Monday closing, the benchmark Shanghai index had gained 419 points, or 20.4 percent, from the closing on July 21, which stood at 2,054.5 points.

Stock connect program pushes Chinese shares to 3-year high

Stock connect program pushes Chinese shares to 3-year high

Stock Connect delay worries investors Shanghai-HK stock connect starts on Nov 17

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