Mainland China and Hong Kong shares rose on Monday, lifted by gold stocks, while equity investors embraced Beijing's latest measures to rescue its beleaguered property sector, which has been a key drag on the world's second-largest economy.


** Beijing announced "historic" steps on Friday to stabilise its crisis-hit property sector, with the central bank facilitating 1 trillion yuan ($138.33 billion) in extra funding and easing mortgage rules, and local governments set to buy some apartments.

** "We believe Beijing is headed in the right direction with regard to ending the epic housing crisis," said Ting Lu, chief China economist at Nomura. "This is proving to be a daunting task and we think markets need to exercise more patience when awaiting more draconian measures."

** At the midday break, the Shanghai Composite index was up 0.38% at 3,166.08 points.

** China's blue-chip CSI300 index was up 0.21%, with its financial sector sub-index higher by 0.31%, the consumer staples sector up 0.39%, the real estate index up 1.18% and the healthcare sub-index down 0.66%.

** Chinese H-shares listed in Hong Kong rose 0.42% to 6,963.5, while the Hang Seng Index was up 0.49% at 19,650.18.

** The smaller Shenzhen index was up 0.17%, the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was higher by 0.21% and Shanghai's tech-focused STAR50 index was down 0.21%.

** Gold stocks outperformed the markets as investors snapped up shares tied to the high-flying precious metal. Zijing Mining Group Co Ltd,, Shandong Gold Mining Co Ltd , and Zhongjin Gold Corp Ltd all rose more than 2% as of the midday break. CSI non-ferrous metal sub-index gained 2.82%.

** Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.32% while Japan's Nikkei index was up 1.03%.

** The yuan was quoted at 7.2295 per U.S. dollar, 0.06% weaker than the previous close of 7.2254. ($1 = 7.2291 Chinese yuan)

(Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Sohini Goswami)