The benchmark index for Chinese stocks (HSCEI) listed in Hong Kong rose 20 percent from this year’s low after valuations fell to the cheapest levels since 2008 and data signaled economic growth is accelerating.
The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of so-called H shares climbed 1.2 percent to 10,653.69 as of 9:38 a.m. in Hong Kong, poised to enter a bull market after advancing 20 percent from its June 25 low. China Oilfield Services Ltd. (2883) led gains.
Premier Li Keqiang has said he’s confident China will achieve its economic targets for this year. Banks from JPMorgan Chase & Co. to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. upgraded growth projections this month on stronger manufacturing data. The H-share gauge slumped 27 percent from Feb. 1 through June 25, dragging its price-earnings ratio to the lowest since the financial crisis in 2008, as China’s economy slowed for two straight quarters and policy makers spurred a credit crunch to curb speculative lending.
“What’s changed since the end of June is that perceptions of Chinese growth have improved,” said Stephen Corry, a Hong Kong-based chief investment strategist at LGT Group, which oversees about $115 billion. “The expectations for economic growth in China were extremely depressed.”
Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan boosted their 2013 economic growth forecasts for the nation to 7.6 percent from 7.4 percent after an official manufacturing gauge climbed last month to a 16-month high. Exports increased more than estimated in August while consumer prices rose 2.6 percent, staying below a government target and leaving room for extra stimulus if needed.
The last time the H-share gauge entered a bull market was in September last year, when positive Chinese data helped end a slide in shares. Bull markets for the measure last an average 185 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg based on the 24 occurrences since 1993. The longest in the past decade began in May 2004, which lasted for two years.