Hong Kong stocks power ahead on mainland money; China market loses direction
* SSEC 0.2 pct, CSI300 0.2 pct, HSI 1.7 pct
* HK's IT, financial stocks jump ahead of Shenzhen Connect
* Chinese money inflows change HK market's structure, preferences
SHANGHAI, Sept 5 (Reuters) - Hong Kong stocks started the week in a strong note, jumping nearly 2 percent in the morning session to a fresh one-year high as China's yield-seeking investors continued to pour in money, while the mainland stock market struggled to find direction.
The benchmark Hang Seng index added 1.7 percent, to 23,667.37 points, the highest level since mid-August last year. The Hong Kong China Enterprises Index gained 1.5 percent.
The market's robust upward momentum has been fuelled by a flood of money from the mainland, where investors are actively hunting for yields in a low-interest rate environment, and also seek to front-run a cross-border investment link between Shenzhen and Hong Kong that is expected to be launched in November.
Last week, Chinese investors spent 17.7 billion yuan ($2.65 billion) buying Hong Kong stocks under the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect, the biggest weekly inflows since last April.
"Chinese people are sitting on cash and looking for investment opportunities. Property prices are already high, wealth management products are no longer attractive and treasury yields are so low," said Shen Weizheng, fund manager at Shanghai-based Ivy Capital.
"But Hong Kong stocks are still cheap compared with their peers on the mainland, where the market is losing direction in an increasingly tight regulatory environment." Continuación...