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China: Stocks end near one-month high

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[SHANGHAI] Shanghai stocks rose to a near one-month high on Wednesday, as a strong rally in financial shares erased initial worries stemming from data showing the nation's foreign exchange reserves fell below a psychological level.

The blue-chip CSI300 index rose 0.5 per cent, to 3,383.29 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index closed up 0.4 per cent to 3,166.98 points, its highest since Jan 11.

China's foreign exchange reserves unexpectedly fell below the closely watched US$3 trillion level in January for the first time in nearly six years.

Sentiment was bearish in early trade but improved later, with some investors focusing on the monthly drop in reserves being the smallest in seven months, signalling that tighter capital controls was taking effect.

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Meanwhile, state media said China's financial markets shouldn't be too sensitive to changes in the size of foreign exchange reserves.

Most sectors advanced, gains were led by a strong rally in shares of brokerage firms, after they published mixed results for January. The CSI SWS Securities Index advanced 1.84 per cent.

REUTERS