SHANGHAI, Oct 8 (Reuters) - China stocks posted their biggest rise in two trading weeks on Thursday, catching up to a rebound in global markets after a week-long holiday, but trading remained thin, reflecting investor worries about the cooling economy.
The CSI300 index of the largest listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen rose 2.9 percent to 3,296.48 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 3.0 percent, to 3,144.23. The gains were the biggest since Sept. 16.
While Chinese markets were closed for the Oct. 1-7 National Day holiday, Hong Kong stocks jumped 8 percent, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose nearly 4 percent and global oil prices enjoyed a robust rebound, boosting shares of resource companies.
Although Thursday’s trading volume in Shanghai jumped by 60 percent from the previous session to 23.35 million shares, it was still just a quarter of its early-June peak, just before Chinese markets began a nosedive of some 40 percent.
Some traders said Thursday’s euphoria might be short lived, citing upcoming economic data and third-quarter company earnings reports as major risks.
Data last month showed profits earned by Chinese industrial companies declined at the sharpest rate in four years in August, while September economic indicators and third-quarter GDP in the next two weeks are expected to a further loss of economic momentum.
On Tuesday, the International Monetary Fund cut its global growth forecasts, citing weak commodity prices and a slowdown in China.
Chinese stocks rose across the board, with the CSI300 IT Index <.CSI300 IT> leading gains with a 5.4 percent jump.
The CSI300 Health Care Index was also up sharply, rising nearly 5 percent, after the government said that it would invest 9.8 billion yuan ($1.54 billion) to subsidise public hospital reform next year.
The rise in the sector was also aided by news that Chinese medical scientist Tu Youyou became the first Nobel laureate in medicine, prompting a batch of Chinese herbal medicine makers, including Conba, Zhongxin Pharmaceutical and Baiyunshan to jump their 10 percent daily limit. (Reporting by the Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Kim Coghill)