SHANGHAI, Dec 16 (Reuters) - Hong Kong stocks rebounded about 2 percent on Wednesday, with the benchmark set to break its nine-session losing streak as oil majors surged and the imminent U.S. interest rate decision set to remove a major uncertainty currently haunting markets.
China shares were also firm, as investors were encouraged by news that China plans to issue significantly more government bonds next year to aid the economy.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was up 2.2 percent, to 21,732.06 points at 0250 GMT.
China’s blue-chip CSI300 index rose 0.1 percent to 3,697.25 points while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.4 percent to 3,525.14 points.
Both markets got a boost from a sharp rally in oil stocks after the Chinese government said late on Tuesday it would “postpone” expected cuts in retail petrol and diesel prices.
The government said the decision was aimed at restraining oil consumption and spurring environmental protection, but some analysts said the real purpose is to support refiners’ profitability.
“We believe there is an ulterior motive - to protect profits of the three oil majors,” wrote Oliver Barron, analyst at China-focused investment bank NSBO, referring to PetroChina , Sinopec and CNOOC.
“PetroChina has been selling pipeline assets to remain profitable this year, and this move sounds like it’s less about air pollution and more about profitability worries.”
Samuel Shen and Pete Sweeney; Editing by Sam Holmes