By Laura He, MarketWatch
HONG KONG (MarketWatch) — Hong Kong stocks posted a solid rebound on Monday following five straight days of declines, after regulators announced that the long-awaited Hong Kong-Shanghai Stock Connect program would start Nov. 17, while China’s October consumer inflation came in line with market forecasts.
The Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI +0.47% ended up 0.8% at 23,744.70, though off some from its intraday high of 24,110.24. The index had been declining for five straight sessions before Monday.
The Stock Connect program, which will allow individual investors outside of China to buy Shanghai-listed shares for the first time ever, had been expected to start late last month, but was delayed, with some blaming the wait on pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.
On the same day, official data showed that China’s consumer-price index grew 1.6% in October from a year earlier, unchanged from the previous month, matching a median forecast by economists from a Wall Street Journal survey.
In Hong Kong markets, shares of Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/200234512/delayed HK:388 +0.70% the city’s sole exchange operator, leapt 4.6%, while brokers rose significantly, with First Shanghai Investments Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/200726880/delayed HK:227 0.00% leading the advance with a 7.8% surge. Shenyin Wanguo HK Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/208006958/delayed HK:218 +2.15% spiked 4.3%, Guotai Jun’an International Holdings Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/203308570/delayed HK:1788 +2.80% jumped 3%, China Galaxy Securities Co. /zigman2/quotes/206618523/delayed HK:6881 +3.81% climbed 2.9%, and Haitong Securities Co. /zigman2/quotes/207313420/delayed HK:6837 +2.84% added 2.5%.
Banks also headed higher, with China Minsheng Banking Corp. /zigman2/quotes/208095167/delayed HK:1988 +1.14% advancing 4.1%, China Citic Bank Corp. /zigman2/quotes/205809997/delayed HK:998 +0.63% improving by 1.4%, and Bank of Communications Co. /zigman2/quotes/203442771/delayed HK:3328 0.00% higher by 1.2%.
Hong Kong-based Link Real Estate Investment Trust /zigman2/quotes/206625692/delayed HK:823 +0.54% rose 2.6%, after Hang Seng Indexes Company said the stock would be added to the benchmark Hang Seng Index starting Dec. 8, while Cosco Pacific Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/201167312/delayed HK:1199 -1.91% would be removed. Shares of Cosco Pacific fell 1.1%.
Over on the Chinese mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP +2.07% rallied 2.3% at the close, also benefiting from the announcement of the Stock Connect launch.
Meanwhile, in other Asian markets, Japan’s Nikkei Average /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK +0.18% declined 0.6%, with the yen /zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled USDJPY -0.0115% strengthening to ¥114.05 from ¥114.60 in the previous session. The broader Topix index /zigman2/quotes/210598092/delayed JP:180460 +0.49% dropped 0.3%.
Elsewhere, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO -0.32% shredded 0.5%, while South Korea’s Kospi Composite Index /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 +0.26% advanced 1%.