* CSI300 +0.8 pct; SSEC +0.7 pct; HSI -0.3 pct
* Vanke leads property shares up as insurers build stakes
* Minmetal acquisition fuels consolidation hopes in mining sector
SHANGHAI, Dec 9 (Reuters) - China stocks climbed on Wednesday morning, led by property and resources shares, amid signs that insurers are scrambling for stakes in real estate majors and Beijing is accelerating consolidation among metal producers.
Hong Kong stocks sagged, however, pulled down by sluggish global markets and investor caution ahead of an expected U.S. rate hike next week.
China’s blue-chip CSI300 index rose 0.8 percent, to 3,652.63 points by lunch break, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.7 percent, to 3,492.58 points.
Investors apparently ignored Wednesday’s data showing China’s consumer inflation picked up slightly in November, even as factories were plagued by persistent producer price deflation.
“The macro-economic figures had a small net impact on the market,” said Gerry Alfonso, director at Shenwan Hongyuan Securities.
Real estate was again in the spotlight. An index tracking the sector shot up 3.8 percent on the hope that Beijing will provide more supports for the industry.
Investor enthusiasm in the sector was rekindled when China Vanke Co, the biggest listed developer, said on Wednesday Anbang Insurance Group had been acquiring its shares, and currently owned 5 percent of the company.
That disclosure, which followed two days after Vanke said another insurer, Foresea Life Insurance Co Ltd, and a partner had bought enough shares to become its biggest shareholder. That disclosure fuelled speculation of a bidding war for Vanke shares, pushing the price up 6.3 percent.
Resources-related shares turned in a robust performance after China Minmetals Corp’s acquisition of China Metallurgical Group Corp fuelled expectations of stepped-up consolidation in the mining sector. Beijing is eager to tackle the industry’s overcapacity.
In Hong Kong, the benchmark Hang Seng index dipped 0.3 percent, to 21,850.53 points, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index lost 0.8 percent, to 9,588.46.
China Investment Securities (HK) said in a note to clients that investors choose to stay on the sidelines amid a slew of weak economic data from China, and ahead of the rate decision meeting by the U.S. Federal Reserve next week.
“If upcoming economic data from China remains poor, the Hang Seng may decline further, testing the 21,500 level,” the brokerage said.
Reporting by Samuel Shen and Pete Sweeney; Editing by Eric Meijer