Hong Kong and China stocks jumped on Wednesday on speculation that China’s central bank would cut the reserve ratio requirements this Friday in a bid to ease the financial burden on the nation’s firms. The benchmark Hang Seng Index added 296.08 points, or 1.39 per cent to finish at 21,524.36. The Shanghai Composite Index added 21.40 points, or 1.07 per cent, to finish at 2030.32, reversing earlier losses and closing just above the 2,000 level. There was talk in the market about possible monetary easing late in the afternoon, which boosted Chinese property developers and financial issues. “This is just speculation as it is unreasonable for policymakers to announce such an important decision before the central economic conference,” said Hayman Chiu, senior analyst at Cinda International. “The market just lacks a catalyst to go up further.” Industrial & Commercial Bank of China ( 1398.HK ) added 1.8 per cent to finish at HK$5.15 in Hong Kong and 0.26 per cent to close at 3.84 yuan in Shanghai. However, although Hang Seng ended in gains, less than 40 per cent of companies on the board finished higher and more than a half of the firms were in red. Turnover stood at HK$52.37 billion yuan. Steel producers rallied after state media reported that China was considering cutting taxes for domestic iron ore miners. Angang Steel ( 0347.HK ) soared 7.4 per cent in Hong Kong to finish at HK$4.92. The company said in the morning that it would sell its 45 per cent stake in Tianjin Angang Tiantie Cold Rolled Sheets to its controlling stakeholder for 1.18 billion yuan. Energy players PetroChina ( 0857.HK ) and Sinopec ( 0386.HK ) were the top boosts to the Hong Kong market on speculation that escalating tension in the Middle East would fuel crude oil prices. Sinopec added 2.14 per cent to finish at HK$8.13.