China stocks head for triumphant end on last trading day of 2014
* Shanghai Composite Index set to close up 50 pct in 2014
* Best annual performance by major stock market this year
* Welcome respite from otherwise grim economic data
* Hong Kong shares close up 1.3 pct for year
By Pete Sweeney
SHANGHAI, Dec 31 (Reuters) - China stocks climbed to near 5-year highs on the last trading day of the year, as mainland markets look to end the year up more than 50 percent - the best annual performance by a major global stock market in 2014 after years spent in the basement.
"This year was a bit unexpected," said Tian Weidong, chief director of research department at Kaiyuan Securities in Xi'an.
"I think it took most people by surprise as they didn't realise this sort of market was possible."
The CSI300 index stood at 3,476.15 points at the end of the morning session on Wednesday, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.7 percent, to 3,187.39 points, both near 5-year highs. Continuación...