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China: Stocks end higher as sentiment improves, liquidity fears ease

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[SHANGHAI] China stocks rallied across the board on Wednesday, extending Tuesday's gains, as improving liquidity in money markets and moderating interest rates lifted market sentiment.

The blue-chip CSI300 index rose 0.8 per cent to 3,368.31 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.7 per cent to 3,158.79 points.

Analysts say investor confidence has been improving generally, pointing to a rise in trade volumes after the market pulled back in December.

That is due in part to an easing of liquidity stress that dampened the market in December.

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Banks, armed with fresh lending quotas, are now more willing to grant loans from the start of the year, said Zhang Qi, analyst at Haitong Securities in Shanghai.

The 14-day repo rate was 2.4685 per cent, down from a 21-month high of 4.46 per cent on Dec 29.

All main sectors gained, led by consumers and materials.

Growth stocks outperformed, notching up their biggest daily percentage gain in two and a half months.

Liquor maker Kweichow Moutai jumped 5.2 per cent to hit a record high since its IPO in 2001.

China's main stock indexes ended 2016 down more than 11 per cent, but had climbed more than 17 per cent from their February trough.

REUTERS

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