SHANGHAI, March 16 (Reuters) - China shares closed at their highest in five and a half years on Monday, fuelled by expectations of further government stimulus after Premier Li Keqiang said Beijing had plenty of scope to adjust policies in order to boost the world's second-largest economy.
Li told a news conference in Beijing on Sunday that China's room for policy manoeuvre is "relatively big", and could choose from "comparatively many" policy tools.
He also assured his audience that policymakers would prop up the economy if growth was at risk of breaching a "lower limit", or hurt employment and income gains.
The CSI300 index of the largest listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen rose 2.4 percent, to 3,705.67, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 2.3 percent, to 3,449.30 points.
Both indexes reached their highest level since August 2009, while trading volume in mainland shares expanded to the highest level in two months.
Among the most active stocks in Shanghai were Bank of China , up 0.7 percent to 4.18 yuan; Agricultural Bank of China, up 0.9 percent to 3.35 yuan and Baotou Steel , up 3.6 percent to 6.03 yuan.
In Shenzhen, BOE Technology, up 2.6 percent to 3.22 yuan; TCL Corp, up 2.0 percent to 5.21 yuan and Suning Appliance, up 5.4 percent to 11.94 yuan were among the most actively traded. (Samuel Shen and Kazunori Takada; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)