China, Hong Kong firm as Clinton relief offsets weak China trade data

SHANGHAI - China stocks rose to a 10-month high, while Hong Kong shares were also firm on Tuesday morning as Wall Street rallied overnight thanks to a growing sense of relief that Hillary Clinton will likely win the U.S. Presidential election.

The upbeat mood counteracted worries from worse-than-expected China trade data.

China's benchmark Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.6 percent, to 3,152.52 points, the highest level since early January. The blue-chip CSI300 index rose 0.7 percent, to 3,379.78 points.

The Hang Seng index added 0.4 percent, to 22,883.42 points, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index gained 0.2 percent, to 9,626.17.

Global equity markets gained after the FBI said on Sunday it will not charge Democratic candidate Clinton over the use of a private email server, lifting a cloud over her campaign and diminishing the chance of victory for her Republican rival Donald Trump.

Trump, a political novice who has stoked uncertainty over his stance on foreign policy, trade and immigration, is seen as a risk to global growth. "Investors are now more confident that Clinton will win the race," said Chang Chengwei, analyst at brokerage Hengtai Futures.

The optimism has offset concerns over China's economic health, with newly-released data showing the nation's exports and imports fell more than expected in October.

Chang said investors may also be looking past the poor trade numbers as the economy has been supported by a recent recovery in the manufacturing sector.

Most sectors rose in China and Hong Kong.

But coal miners, including Hong Kong-listed China Coal and China-listed China Shenhua weakened, as thermal coal prices sank more than 4 percent on Tuesday morning.

Shares of several companies invested by insures also underperformed, after China's insurance regulator said on Tuesday it does not support short-term speculative stock trading by insurance funds, pointing out that recent trading activities by Evergrand Life Insurance Co have had negative effects on the industry.