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China: Blue-chip index jumps to 7-month high on easing hopes

Friday, August 12, 2016 - 15:37
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China's blue-chip CSI300 Index ended at a seven-month high on Friday, led by financial and property shares, as disappointing economic data raised the prospect of more government stimulus.

[SHANGHAI] China's blue-chip CSI300 Index ended at a seven-month high on Friday, led by financial and property shares, as disappointing economic data raised the prospect of more government stimulus.

The CSI300 index rose 1.9 per cent, to 3,294.23, the highest close since early January. The Shanghai Composite Index gained 1.6 per cent to 3,050.67 points.

For the week, CSI300 gained 2.8 per cent, while SSEC was up 2.5 per cent.

Growth in China's fixed-asset investment, industrial output and retail sales all missed forecasts, while property investment and sales growth continued to moderate, data showed on Friday.

The disappointing data prompted bets of further policy easing. "The marked economic slowdown means there's still need for further easing," wrote Li Huiyong, economist at Shenwan Hongyuan Securities. "Since it takes time for policies to take effect ... Our suggestion is that easing should be launched as soon as possible."

China's benchmark 10-year government bond yields continued to fall on Friday, hitting a fresh low since January 2009.

Lower bond yields, while reflecting easing expectations, also make those high-dividend blue-chips a bit more attractive, analysts said.

Financials strengthened, while there was renewed interest in China's property shares following the previous session's correction, with sector bellwether Vanke jumping 10 per cent.

REUTERS

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