China stocks jump to 7-month high on policy optimism; Hong Kong up
* CSI300 +3.2 pct; SSEC: +2.4 pct; HSI: +0.7 pct
* China's bank, property shares surge on policy easing optimism
* Brokerage shares up on hopes of Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect
SHANGHAI, Aug 15 (Reuters) - China stocks jumped to a seven-month high on Monday morning, led by property and financial shares, as investors intensified their bets that disappointing economic data for July would prod Beijing to unleash fresh stimulus.
Hong Kong shares rose to a fresh nine-month high, as depressed global interest rates pushed some investors to hunt for yields in emerging market equities.
By the lunch break, China's blue-chip CSI300 index rose 3.2 percent, to 3,398.67 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 2.4 percent, to 3,122.30 points.
China published weaker-than-expected investment, lending, retail spending and factory output data on Friday. That followed a run of poor numbers this month, keeping alive hopes the government will unleash more stimulus this year to meet ambitious economic growth targets.
"In light of persistent headwinds from the external sector, weak business sentiment, and a cooling property market, we believe that policymakers need to accelerate policy easing and reforms," Jing Li, an economist at HSBC, wrote in a note.
Huatai Securities pointed out that the recent rally in blue-chips was driven by yield-hungry investors in a low-interest environment, rather than the result of rising risk appetite. Continuación...