* CSI300 +0.6 pct; SSEC +0.5 pct; HSI -0.2 pct
* China quarterly GDP growth better than expected
* Signs that investors tip-toe back to mainland stock market
SHANGHAI, Oct 19 (Reuters) - China stocks rose modestly on Monday as third-quarter economic data showed a further gradual slowdown in activity but no signs of a hard landing which has been feared by some investors.
The CSI300 index rose 0.6 percent to 3,555.10 points by lunch time, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.5 percent to 3,408.41.
Hong Kong shares were mixed, with the benchmark Hang Seng Index dipping 0.2 percent to 23,021.73, but the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index rising 0.1 percent to 10,648.30.
China’s economic growth cooled to 6.9 percent in the third quarter, slightly better than expected but still the weakest pace since the global financial crisis, reinforcing views that policymakers will roll out more support measures which could reflate company’s revenues and profit margins.
But no panic was seen among mainland investors as the slowdown had long been priced in.
“The GDP data is better than anticipated. It could mean that previously-announced stimulus, such as infrastructure investments, begins to work,” said Yang Hai, strategist at Kaiyuan Securities.
“The market is turning optimistic, in the backdrop of ample liquidity.”
Investors also drew some comfort from comments by Chinese President Xi Jinping, who told Reuters in a written interview that China’s economic slowdown was a “normal” part of structural adjustments.
Monday’s rise built on last week’s roughly 6 percent jump in China’s stock markets, which are showing signs of life as some investors tiptoe back into the market after a 40 percent plunge in the summer.
Brokerages shares were the clear winner from the recent market strength, with companies including Western Securities , Sinolink Securities and Guoyuan Securities jumping over 5 percent on Monday.
Infrastructure and transportation shares were generally firmer on expectations of more government spending, while start-up board ChiNext corrected on profit-taking.
Shares of Sinosteel Tech rose 3.3 percent after parent Sinosteel said it would use some of the company’s shares as collateral to protect bondholders’ interest amid concerns of a default.
In Hong Kong, gains in energy and telecom shares were offset by losses in the property and services sector.
Shares of Tsingtao Brewery Co Ltd fell 1.6 percent after the beer maker said it would buy the remaining stake in a loss-making brewery joint venture with Japan’s Suntory Holdings.
Samuel Shen and Pete Sweeney; Editing by Kim Coghill