China stocks edge up on expansion of pension fund's investment scope
SHANGHAI, April 2 (Reuters) - China stocks rose on Thursday, with sentiment boosted by news that Beijing is expanding the investment scope of country's 1.2 trillion yuan ($194 billion) social security fund.
The government announced late on Wednesday that the fund, which backs China's pension system, will be allowed to buy more local government debt, investment trusts and shares in state-owned companies.
Analysts said the move is expected to channel more money into the stock market, and help reduce financial risks accumulated in massive local government borrowings.
"Investors are see-sawing between growth stocks and blue chips, but the overall market will likely trend higher," said Wu Kan, head of equity trading at investment firm Shanshan Finance in Shanghai.
The CSI300 index edged up 0.02 percent, while the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.4 percent.
ChiNext, the Nasdaq-style board for growth companies, jumped nearly 3 percent to fresh highs, unfettered by concerns over lofty valuations.
Internet stocks surged after China's state council, or cabinet, promised late on Wednesday to boost e-commerce, including through cutting red tape and liberalizing investment rules.
Clean technology and new energy stocks also rose sharply, after Wu Xiaoqing, vice minister of environmental protection, told a conference on Wednesday scientists have identified vehicles as being the biggest polluters in major cities.
Wu's remarks fuelled hopes of fresh policies to promote new energy vehicles and green technology. (Reporting by Samuel Shen and Pete Sweeney; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)
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