China shares surge on strong factory data; securities firms shine

* Shanghai stocks +2.21%, blue-chip CSI300 +2.7%

* Biggest one-day gain since March 2 for CSI300

* Securities firm sub-index outperforms on settlement change speculation

SHANGHAI, June 1 (Reuters) - Chinese shares ended sharply higher on Monday, on stronger manufacturing data in May and after U.S. President Donald Trump’s mild reaction to China’s security legislation for Hong Kong. ** At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was up 2.21% at 2,915.43. It was the biggest one-day percentage gain for the index since March 24. ** The blue-chip CSI300 index was up 2.7%, its biggest one-day percentage gain since March 2. ** China’s factory activity unexpectedly returned to growth in May as strict measures to contain the coronavirus outbreak were eased, but the improvement was marginal as export orders continued to shrink, a private business survey showed on Monday. ** President Donald Trump on Friday ordered his administration to begin the process of eliminating special U.S. treatment for Hong Kong to punish China, but stopped short of calling an immediate end to privileges that have helped the territory remain a global financial center. ** A CSI index tracking securities firms outpaced the broader index after the Shanghai Stock Exchange said it was researching the implementation of same-day settlement. ** The gain reflected market speculation that if implemented, same-day settlement could boost securities firms, said Zhang Yanbing, an analyst at Zheshang Securities, Shanghai. ** The smaller Shenzhen index ended up 3.16% and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was higher by 3.429%. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 2.47%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 0.84%. ** At 0710 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 7.1194 per U.S. dollar, 0.22% firmer than the previous close of 7.1348. ** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is down 4.4% and the CSI300 has fallen 3.1%, while China’s H-share index listed in Hong Kong is down 11.8%. Shanghai stocks have risen 2.21% this month. (Reporting by Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Rashmi Aich)