China and Hong Kong stocks staged a broad-based rebound on Wednesday morning, as Asian markets tracked Wall Street's rally after U.S. central bank comments raised hopes of an interest rate cut. ** The CSI300 index rose 0.6% to 3,619.60 at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.6% to 2,880.18. ** The Hang Seng index added 0.7% to 26,953.77, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index gained 0.4% to 10,378.29.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Tuesday dropped his standard reference to the central bank being "patient" in its approach to any rate decision, instead of saying the Fed would respond "as appropriate" to the risks posed by a global trade war and other recent developments. ** Contributing to the cheery mood, Chinese President Xi Jinping said the country's economy was stable, healthy and well placed to meet all risks and challenges, according to a transcript published by the Xinhua news agency.
Investors pay attention to any development in the Sino-U.S. trade relationship. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin meets with People's Bank of China Governor Yi Gang at the G20 finance leaders meeting this weekend in Japan, a Treasury spokesman said on Tuesday.
Shares in China's rare earth-related firms jumped on Beijing's plans for more curbs on rare earths exports, to protect and better use such "strategic resource" Stocks including Chengdu Galaxy Magnets Co Ltd, Hunan Yujing Machinery Co Ltd and Yantai Zhenghai Magnetic Material Co Ltd led the charge. ** Bucking the broad trend, shares in China's healthcare firms slumped on news that Beijing will carry out a quality check on the accounting information of the pharmaceuticals industry. The CSI300 healthcare index drops as much as 3.2% to its lowest since Feb. 22.
(With inputs from agencies.)