* SSEC flat, CSI300 -0.1 pct, HSI +1.0 pct
* Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect daily southbound quota used 31.5 pct as of noon
SHANGHAI, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Hong Kong stocks rose again on Friday, bucking the trend in Asian markets, with positive momentum sustained by continuous inflows from the mainland as Beijing allows Chinese insurers to participate in the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect scheme.
But China stocks are roughly flat, with August inflation data seen as providing few, if any, incentives for fresh monetary easings, and keeping many investors on the sidelines.
The Hang Seng index inched up 1.0 percent to 24,147.79 points by lunch break, having gained 3.8 percent so far this week. The benchmark index is poised to have its best week since mid-July.
The Hong Kong China Enterprises Index, which tracks Chinese companies listed in the city, gained 1.2 percent, to 10,129.82, and is on track to post a weekly rise of 4.6 percent.
Yield-hungry mainland investors have stepped up buying Hong Kong stocks over the past two weeks, seeking to front-run an investment link between Shenzhen and Hong Kong to be launched as soon as November.
The turning tide of funds got another boost after China’s regulator said late on Thursday the country’s insurers can now buy Hong Kong shares via the Shanghai-Hong Kong Connect program, expanding their overseas investment channels.
“The news would further lift sentiment in Hong Kong, as the rules would lead to inflows of more long-term Chinese money,” First Shanghai Securities Ltd strategist Linus Yip said, adding insurers prefer dividend-rich blue-chips.
Still, he cautioned that since Hong Kong stocks have been over-bought recently, a technical correction is possible.
Reflecting the investment preference of Chinese investors, financial stocks in Hong Kong posted strong gains.
In China, the CSI300 index fell 0.1 percent, to 3,336.81 points at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index was unchanged at 3,096.57 points.
China’s consumer price inflation slowed to its weakest pace in almost a year in August, pulled down by abating food costs, although an encouraging moderation in producer price deflation added to growing evidence of a steadying economy.
Chinese stocks have lagged the Hong Kong market recently, with price premium Chinese listed companies enjoyed over their Hong Kong peers shrinking to roughly 18 on Friday, the lowest in a year.
Samuel Shen, Winni Zhou and John Ruwitch; Editing by Shri Navaratnam