China stocks hit 3-week highs as property shares up on pricing data
* CSI300 +0.8 pct; SSEC +0.8 pct; HSI +0.4 pct
* China shares on track for longest winning streak in 2 months
* Property shares rise on signs of market stabilization
SHANGHAI, Feb 17 (Reuters) - China shares rose to three-week highs on Tuesday, lead by gains in property firms after data showed some signs housing prices were starting to stabilise in the biggest cities.
Average new home prices in China's 70 major cities fell 0.4 percent in January from December, a ninth straight monthly drop, but price falls in Beijing and Shanghai eased, causing some speculation they may be bottoming out.
"During the fourth quarter, we saw an increase in trading volume as more people entered the property market after the government loosened policies," said Joe Zhou, analyst for property consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle in Shanghai. "We expect this trend to continue."
The CSI300 index rose 0.8 percent, to 3,528.79 points at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.8 percent, to 3,248.82 points.
If the indices remain up, Tuesday will be their seventh straight advance and make the longest winning streak in two months. The streak has been supported by expectations of further policy easing to counter China's slowing economy.
Mainland markets will be closed from Feb. 18 through Feb. 24 for the Lunar New Year holiday. Continuación...