* CSI300 +0.5 pct; SSEC +0.4 pct; HSI: +2.1 pct
* Energy shares in China, HK jump on higher oil prices
* Hang Seng Index hits a two-week high
SHANGHAI, Feb 18 (Reuters) - Hong Kong stocks advanced over 2 percent on Thursday morning, aided by a surge in energy shares, following overnight gains in U.S. and European equities and a jump in oil prices.
China stocks were also firmer, with investor optimism sustained by Beijing’s fresh moves to support the economy, and expectations that more stimulus is in the pipeline.
The Hang Seng index, Hong Kong’s benchmark, gained 2.1 percent to 19,327.84 points, hitting a two-week high. The Hong Kong China Enterprises Index popped 3.1 percent, to 8,174.66.
The energy sector gained 4 percent, with Chinese oil giants PetroChina, CNOOC and Sinopec posting sharp gains on higher oil prices.
In China, the blue-chip CSI300 index rose 0.5 percent, to 3,077.25 points by lunch break, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.4 percent, to 2,879.95 points.
After solid rallies over the past few sessions, investor sentiment in China remained upbeat amid signs it is stepping up efforts to arrest economic deceleration.
There have been announcements of infrastructure investment, and policies unveiled to reward academic research. Earlier, Beijing unveiled rules to strengthen financial support to the industrial sector.
Newly-released January inflation data on Thursday - which points to persistent deflationary pressure and little improvement economic activity - reinforces expectations of more monetary easing, a move made easier by a stabilizing yuan.
“Disinflationary pressure remains and leaves room for further monetary policy easing,” Nomura said in a research note, forecasting that China this year will make four 50 basis-point cuts in reserve requirement ratios and two 25-basis-point reductions in policy rates.
Most sectors on the mainland rose, with rate-sensitive sectors such as real estate performing strongly.
Climbing global oil prices helped Chinese energy firms , pushing the sector up 1.6 percent.
Reporting by Samuel Shen and Nathaniel Taplin; Editing by Richard Borsuk