BEIJING, March 24 (Xinhua) -- Chinese shares rose for a second trading day on Monday, despite HSBC preliminary data that showed China's manufacturing activity contracting for a third month to an eight-month low in March.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.91 percent, or 18.66 points, to finish at 2,066.28. The Shenzhen Component Index rose 0.44 percent, or 32.19 points, to close at 7,273.76.
Combined turnover on the two bourses shrank slightly to 226.98 billion yuan (36.94 billion U.S. dollars) from 228.73 billion yuan on the previous trading day.
Both indices dived in the morning session as investors took in the HSBC China flash manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) for March released at around 10 a.m. Beijing time.
The preliminary figure dipped to 48.1 from a final reading of 48.5 in February, adding to evidence of a slowdown in the world's second-largest economy.
HSBC chief China economist Qu Hongbin said he expects China to take measures to stabilize growth, and that possible options include lowering entry barriers for private investment, targeted spending on subways, air cleaning and public housing.
The major indices climbed after the afternoon trading started. The Shanghai Composite Index rose as much as 1.29 percent during the afternoon session.
Li Daxiao, economist with Shenzhen-based brokerage Yingda Securities Co., said that although the PMI figure missed market expectations, hopeful pro-growth policies may promote the stabilization of the stock market.
The real estate sector was the strongest on Monday, with the sub-index climbing 2.89 percent.
Thirteen property developers soared by 10 percent, the highest percentage a stock is allowed to rise each trading day.
China Vanke, the largest property developer, rose 0.62 percent, while Poly Real Estate, the second largest, surged 3.47 percent.
The financial, cement, transport and steel sectors all saw strong performances on Monday.
The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the country's largest commercial bank by market value, rose 1.2 percent. PetroChina, the largest oil and gas producer, edged up 0.39 percent.