China stocks rise again, helped by banks as small caps slide
* CSI300 +0.4 pct; SSEC +0.4 pct; Hong Kong closed
* Banks up on expectations of reserve rate cut - analyst
* Outstanding margin loans rise over the past 9 sessions
SHANGHAI, Oct 21 (Reuters) - China stocks ended Wednesday morning firmer as banking heavyweights took the baton from small-caps in keeping the market's upward momentum alive.
The Hong Kong market is closed on Wednesday for a public holiday.
Both the CSI300 index and the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.4 percent by lunch time, to 3,592.35 points and 3,438.78 points respectively.
But Shenzhen's tech-heavy start-up board ChiNext weakened after some investors took profits after strong gains recently.
"There appeared to be profit-taking in several sectors after the recent strong performance of some of those stocks, particularly in the media and IT sectors," wrote Gerry Alfonso, director at Shenwan Hongyuan Securities Co.
He attributed Wednesday's strength in banking stocks to expectations of further cuts in banks' required reserve ratios, which would be "clearly a positive development for the sector". Continuación...