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SHANGHAI, April 13 (Reuters) - Chinese stocks jumped to fresh seven-year highs on Monday, after surprisingly bad export data reinforced expectations the government will unveil fresh stimulus moves to aid the economy.
Data released on Monday showed China's exports contracted 15 percent in March from a year earlier, a stunning drop that strengthens belief the government will soon act to boost growth.
"We continue to expect more monetary easing for a variety of reasons, and the trade data offers further support for this," Oliver Barron, analyst at China-focused investment bank NSBO said in a note to clients.
NSBO expects another cut in banks' required reserve ratios this month and an additional interest rate cut this month or next.
The CSI300 index of the largest listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen rose 1.8 percent, to 4,421.07, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 2.2 percent, to 4,121.71 points.
China's CSI300 banking index jumped over 3 percent, led by a 10 percent rise for China Merchants Bank Co Ltd, after the lender announced fundraising and stock incentive plans that analysts say point to broader ownership reforms in the banking sector.
Smaller brokerages such as Western Securities Co Ltd and Sinolink Securities Co rose but their bigger rivals including Haitong Securities and Everbright Securities fell after China allowed mainland investors to open multiple A-share accounts. Analysts say the move would help nimble and tech-savvy brokerages steal clients from bigger ones. (Reporting by Samuel Shen and Pete Sweeney; Editing by Richard Borsuk)