China shares set for best week since Dec. on foreign inflow boost
SHANGHAI, June 10 (Reuters) - China stocks rose on Friday, with continued strong buying by foreign investors helping benchmark indexes to cast off early losses, while cautious hopes on regulatory easing lifted tech firms in Hong Kong.
** At the midday break, the Shanghai Composite index .SSEC was up 0.58% at 3,257.59 points.
** China's blue-chip CSI300 index .CSI300 was up 0.41%, with automotive shares .CSI931008 up 2.87%, industrial firms .CSI000910 up 0.76% and the consumer discretionary sector .CSI000911 1.39% higher.
** The CSI300 has risen more than 2.5% this week, supported by inflows from foreign investors, putting it on track for its best week since early December.
** Foreign investors have bought 35.14 billion yuan ($5.25 billion) worth of A-shares in June so far, including 5.54 billion yuan on Friday morning, compared with 16.8 billion yuan for the entire month of May, according to data from East Money Information Co.
** Chinese H-shares listed in Hong Kong .HSCE rose 0.16% to 7,618.67, while the Hang Seng Index .HSI was down 0.18% at 21,828.86.
** Tech shares in Hong Kong came back from a drop of more than 3% to rise 0.89% by midday. The index has risen nearly 9% this week, lifted by hopes of an easing regulatory crackdown on Chinese tech names.
** China's central leadership has given billionaire Jack Ma's Ant Group a tentative green light to revive its initial public offering (IPO), two sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters. nL1N2XX00L
** Approval of an Ant IPO "would just signal that this regulatory pressure that we've experienced for 12-plus months is unwinding, and that would be a very big statement," said Andy Maynard, head of equities at China Renaissance in Hong Kong.
** The smaller Shenzhen index .SZSC was up 1.13%, the start-up board ChiNext Composite index .CNT was higher by 0.98% and Shanghai's tech-focused STAR50 index .STAR50 was up 0.98%.
** The yuan CNY=CFXS was quoted at 6.6910 per U.S. dollar, 0.01% firmer than the previous close of 6.6920.
($1 = 6.6901 Chinese yuan)
(Reporting by Andrew Galbraith and Jason Xue; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)