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SHANGHAI, Dec 2 (Reuters) - China stocks leapt on Tuesday, as a mainland rally gained fresh steam, with investors pouring into brokerages and banking shares, widening the valuation gap with Hong Kong shares.
Analysts were divided over the timing and scale of the afternoon rally, with media reports saying institutional money was moving into banking shares, triggering a rush by retail investors, while some analysts said markets were pricing in expectations of an imminent cut in bank reserve requirement ratios.
The CSI300 index of the largest listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen rose 3.7 percent to 2,923.94, its largest daily rise since July 2013, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 3.1 percent to 2,763.54 points, its best day since Sept 2013.
Brokerages such as Guoyuan Securities Co Ltd, Hong Yuan Securities Co Ltd, Western Securities Co Ltd and Founder Securities Co Ltd all saw shares rise to their maximum allowable 10 percent daily limit.
Mainland banks also charged higher, with the CSI300 bank share index and the wider financial services index closing over 6 percent higher, led by Bank of Communications, China Merchants Bank and China Minsheng Bank, all of which rose to their maximum 10 percent limit or just below.
Foreign investment flowing into Shanghai from Hong Kong through the mutual market access pilot programme took up 3.31 billion yuan of the 13 billion yuan daily quota.
Total volume of A shares traded in Shanghai was 43.7 billion shares, while Shenzhen volume was 20.4 billion shares.
Reporting by the Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Jacqueline Wong