SSEC, CSI300 +0.07%, HSI 1.9%
Healthcare shares surge as vaccine hopes rise
Hong Kong shares rise on improved global risk appetite
Alibaba's HK shares soar on news of Ant Financial IPOs
SHANGHAI, July 21 (Reuters) - China shares inched higher on Tuesday, supported by strong gains in healthcare stocks on rising hopes for a coronavirus vaccine, although profit-taking after the previous session's rally kept gains in check.
** At the midday break, the Shanghai Composite index .SSEC was up 0.07% at 3,316.56, after a 3.1% gain on Monday. The blue-chip CSI300 index .CSI300 also rose 0.07%.
** Healthcare shares outperformed the broader market amid rising global hopes for coronavirus vaccines following promising studies. A sub-index tracking the sector .CSI300HC jumped 2.78%.
** The smaller Shenzhen index .SZSC was up 0.27% and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index .CNT was higher by 0.76%.
** Hong Kong shares rose, as news of promising vaccine studies and progress by European Union leaders in reaching a deal on a massive stimulus plan lifted global risk appetite.
** Chinese H-shares listed in Hong Kong .HSCE rose 1.27% to 10,426.11, while the Hang Seng Index .HSI was up 1.88% at 25,529.02.
** E-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding's Hong Kong shares 9988.HK jumped 6.59% after Ant Group, its fintech arm, said it has started the process of a dual listing in Hong Kong and on Shanghai's Nasdaq-style Star Market.
** Hong Kong shares shrugged off concerns over rising political tensions between China and the United Kingdom after Britain announced it would suspend its extradition treaty with Hong Kong.
** Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index .MIAPJ0000PUS was firmer by 1.76% while Japan's Nikkei index .N225 was up 0.78%.
** The yuan CNY=CFXS was quoted at 6.9936 per U.S. dollar, 0.03% weaker than the previous close of 6.9915.
** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is up 8.66%, while China's H-share index is down 7.8%. Shanghai stocks have risen 11.04% this month.
(Reporting by Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Rashmi Aich)
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