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Shanghai stocks seal best week in 10 months on Beijing's stimulus

The blue-chip CSI300 index firmed 0.1% on Friday. It posted a weekly gain of 4.1%, the most since last June.

Reuters|
Last Updated: Feb 21, 2020, 09.05 PM IST
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Expectation of looser liquidity will continue to drive tech and growth stocks, lifting valuations across the the board, Sealand Securities noted in report on Friday.
SHANGHAI/HONG KONG: Shanghai stocks closed higher on Friday, with the index marking its best week since last April, as Chinese policymakers vowed to help companies hurt by the fast-spreading coronavirus outbreak.

At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was up 0.3% at 3,039.67. The index climbed 4.2% this week, its biggest weekly gain since April 2019.

The blue-chip CSI300 index firmed 0.1% on Friday. It posted a weekly gain of 4.1%, the most since last June.

Both indexes hit fresh one-month highs during the session.

CSI300's financial sector sub-index eased 0.5%, the information technology sector rallied 2.6% and healthcare shares gained 0.3%.

The smaller Shenzhen index rose 1.1% and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index climbed 1.8%, having touched its highest since July 2016 earlier in the session.

China reported an uptick in new cases of coronavirus on Friday, although the rise in infections remained at its slowest pace since January, a downward trend that the World Health Organization has called encouraging.

China has rolled out a raft of supportive measures to cushion the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

The Chinese commerce ministry said on Friday it will speed up studying new fiscal, tax financial, insurance measures to support companies to counter the impact of the epidemic.

As widely expected, the People's Bank of China slashed a key benchmark rate this week and said it would extend credit, provide favourable loans or rates to firms involved in controlling the epidemic.

"Additional easing measures, if announced, could sustain the positive sentiment even longer and lead to near-term A-share outperformance versus the offshore Chinese equity market," Morgan Stanley's analysts wrote in a note on Friday.

The earliest vaccine for the coronavius will be submitted for clinical trials around late April, China's Vice Science and Technology Minister Xu Nanping said on Friday.

Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.9%, while Japan's Nikkei index closed down 0.4%.

The yuan was 0.14% weaker at 7.0331 per U.S. dollar by 0710 GMT.

So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is down 0.3%, while the CSI300 has risen 1.3%. Shanghai stocks have gained 2.1% so far this month.

About 36.46 billion shares were traded on the Shanghai exchange, highest since last April. The volume in the previous trading session was 34.57 billion.

The Shanghai stock index is above its 50-day moving average and 200-day moving average.
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