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China: Stocks advance to fresh 10-month high despite a weaker yuan

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[SHANGHAI] China stocks rose to a fresh 10-month high, as a frenzy in material and infrastructure stocks helped lift sentiment across the board, shrugging off the yuan's continued weakness.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.8 per cent to 3,196.04 points, its highest since Jan 8, while the blue-chip CSI300 index advanced 0.8 per cent to 3,417.22 points.

For the week, SSEC ended up 2.3 per cent, while CSI300 added 1.9 per cent, both up for the fifth consecutive week on growing conviction that China's economy is stabilising.

China's yuan weakened for a second straight day on Friday and traders braced for further depreciation amid rising uncertainty about US policies, particularly on trade with China, under President-elect Donald Trump.

Market voices on:

Yet given China's stringent capital controls, analysts expect the stock market to offer a good alternative for investment as Beijing puts a brake on the red-hot real estate market.

A weaker yuan will also help boost the competitiveness of Chinese companies going abroad under the "One Belt, One Road" initiative.

Also adding to optimism was news that the long-awaited Shenzhen-HK stock link will go live on Nov 21, according to Hong Kong media.

Sectors were mixed. Gains were led by materials, which surged more than 3 per cent, and infrastructure, while property and consumer firms lost ground.

Bucking the general trend, high-profile LeEco hit its lowest since Sept 2015 on reports of supply chain problems.