* CSI300 +0.1 pct; SSEC +0.2 pct; HSI -0.5 pct
* Investors await policy signals from NPC meeting
* Some see risk abating on property recovery, yuan stability
SHANGHAI, March 3 (Reuters) - Chinese shares held a firmer tone on Thursday morning, with continued strength in the property sector sustaining optimism after a 4 percent rally the day before and ahead of a key meeting of China’s top legislature that starts on Saturday.
The blue-chip CSI300 index was up a modest 0.1 percent, at 3,053.06 points by the lunch break, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.2 percent, to 2,856.14 points.
But Hong Kong stocks pulled back from Wednesday’s seven-week high on profit-taking. The Hang Seng index dropped 0.5 percent, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index was flat.
Analysts said Beijing had made efforts to stabilise the market - including cutting banks’ reserve requirements this week - ahead of the 12th National People’s Congress (NPC) meeting, but sustainability of the rebound depends on whether policies to be unveiled by the NPC could surprise the market on the upside.
“Recent volatility shows investor confidence remains fragile,” said Pan Shaochang, strategist at Dongguan Securities.
“So far, little evidence has pointed to an economic recovery, so there’s a lot of uncertainty ahead, including whether the government’s supply-side reforms could succeed.”
Some investors are starting to look on the bright side.
Liao Bing, veteran investor and founder of a Shanghai-based wealth management firm, said that Beijing has bought time for the structural reforms, by keeping monetary policies moderately loose, stimulating the property sector and stemming the yuan’s depreciation trend.
“With fears gone of yuan instability and property price slump, the downside risk of China’s stock market has reduced markedly,” Liao wrote in a note on Thursday.
Most sectors in China ended morning trade in positive territory, with real estate shares sustaining strong upward momentum amid signs of recovery in several major cities.
In Hong Kong, energy and resources were among the few sectors that rose.
Reporting by Samuel Shen and Nathaniel Taplin; Editing by Jacqueline Wong