December 30, 2011 (Chinavestor) Signs that the U.S. jobs market is improving sent the Dow Jones up 135.6 points on Thursday in a broad rally. Each and every component of the index advanced, a clear indication of improved investor sentiment. But that was not enough for lift China stocks in the U.S. and in Hong Kong. The iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25 Index (NYSE:FXI), the most liquid Chinese ETF, rose a mere $.36 and the Hang Seng Index (INDEXHANGSENG:.HSI) advanced 36.5 points or 0.2% the next day. News that China's manufacturing growth has slowed for the second straight months in December spread speculations that the government will simulate the economy in 2012. Mainland investors keep a close eye on Beijing and with sentiment shifting towards monetary easing, investors turned bullish on the last day of the year. The Shanghai Composite Index (SHA:000001) advanced 25.9 points or 1.2% in a broad rally. Stocks that advanced outnumbered those that fell ten to one among the 50 largest components of the index.
China Vanke (SHE:2000002), the largest listed property developer, surged 2.3%, following speculations that the real estate market will enjoy monetary easing. Poly Real Estate (SHA:600048), the largest real estate component of the Shanghai Composite Index (SHA:000001) rose 2.7%.Both developers are down 20% for the year as property prices and tight lending policy squeezed profitability of the sector.
Investors remained cautious in Hong Kong the last day of the year. Zijin Mining (HKG:2899), the largest Chinese gold miner, rose 2.1% indicating that investors continue to trim risk in an uncertain economic environment. Guangshen Rail (HLG:0525), a key operator of rail network in China's Pearl River delta region, rose 3.4%, the most among 42 components of the Hang Seng Index (INDEXHANGSENG:.HSI). The stock fell to 52 week lows earlier in November following a deadly high speed rail accident, making it a prime target for value investors. Energy stocks fell as the dollar strengthened while power producers gained on softer coal prices. Dantang Power (HKG:0991) rose 3.2%, the most among components of the iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25 Index (NYSE:FXI), in Hong Kong.