It’s official: Hong Kong is finally in a bull market. A mix of good news drove market sentiment. The Hang Seng Index jumped 1.8 per cent to close at 29,562.02 on Monday, the first trading session of the second quarter, gaining 20.2 per cent since a recent low in October. The Hong Kong market has gained over HK$5 trillion (US$637 billion) in value since October 30. The benchmark is a latecomer to the club. China’s major indices, including the Shanghai Composite, the large-cap CSI 300 and the ChiNext, all entered bull markets by the end of February in a much more rapid run-up. China’s manufacturing bounced back in March as Caixin/Markit PMI shows unexpected good news A bull market is technically defined as a 20 per cent increase in stock prices. The reading of China’s official and private manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) came in far better than market expectations on Sunday and Monday respectively. And a 3 per cent reduction in China’s value-added tax that took effect on Monday have led to lower prices on products ranging from Apple’s iPhones to Ford Motor’s imported cars. China’s services sector accelerates in March as manufacturing also sees upturn On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index soared 2.6 per cent to 3,170.36, the highest level since May 23, 2018. Turnover in A shares surged above 1 trillion yuan (US$149 billion) for the first time since March 13. “The market sentiment is extremely good,” said Gordon Tsui Luen-on, managing director of investment company Hantec Pacific. On the macro level, recent progress in US-China trade negotiations, the US Federal Reserve’s dovish stance on raising interest rates, and China’s fiscal easing policies all lifted investors’ hopes, he said. But will the sentiment last? Tsui said it’s “hard to tell for now”, but “the upward momentum won’t be completely convincing until the benchmark [Hang Seng Index] breaches 30,500 points.” The Hang Seng Index advanced 12 per cent in the first quarter, capping its best quarterly performance since 2009 on Friday. Tsui, however, is upbeat on Hong Kong builders and brokerages. Developers will benefit from the US Federal Reserve’s dovish outlook on interest rate increases as well as strong demand, Tsui said after home prices rebounded for a second month in February. Meanwhile, the high trading volume in Hong Kong – mostly above HK$100 billion since early February – is also good news for brokerages, which overall posted poor results last year, Tsui said. Market turnover stood at HK$129 billion on Monday, up from HK$123 billion on Friday. Gaming stocks advanced broadly after official data indicated Macau casino operators market recorded a smaller loss in revenue than market expectations. Wynn Macau jumped 7 per cent and Sands China rose 5 per cent. Chinese home appliance giant Gome Retail surged as much as 16 per cent before paring gains to 6 per cent. A report by Chinese media 21jingji.com, citing Gome’s investor relations director, said Huang Guangyu, the company’s jailed former chairman, would be released next year and return to the company. The Chinese newspaper Beijing News later reported that Li Hong, Gome’s investor relations director, had denied it, saying the press had misunderstood him. Blockchain-related stocks soared after Chinese authorities released a list of 197 companies that had successfully registered for blockchain-based information services on Saturday. This essentially means they have permission to continue operating. A gauge tracking 80 blockchain-related stocks surged 7 per cent, with 28 of them soaring by the daily limit of 10 per cent. Gree Electric Appliances, China’s largest air-conditioner maker, was suspended from trading on Monday as its controlling shareholder was planning to transfer part of its stake. The transfer by Zhuhai Gree Group, a company owned by the government of the southern city Zhuhai, will have to be approved by Chinese authorities, according to Gree’s filing to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.