China stocks post 7th week of gains as interest shifts to blue chips
SHANGHAI, April 17 (Reuters) - China stocks rose to fresh seven-year highs on Friday, posting their seventh straight week of gains, as investor interest shifted from pricy small caps to blue chip shares.
The SSE50 Index futures <0#CIH:>, based on an index tracking China's 50 big companies, jumped 7.4 percent on debut while the CSI500 Index futures <0#CIC:> which is based on an index tracking 500 small-cap stocks, fell 1.4 percent.
"Index futures reflect market expectations, so the flood of money gushing into the stock market will be guided into blue chips," said Zhang Chen, analyst at Shanghai-based hedge fund manager Hongyi Investment.
Last week, 1.68 million new A-share accounts were opened in China, the highest weekly reading in 10 years of available history. That puts the tally of new A-share account openings in China at more than 6 million just in the past month, significantly higher than the entire population of Los Angeles.
The CSI300 index of the largest listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen rose 1.8 percent, to 4,596.14, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 2.2 percent, to 4,287.30 points.
For the week, CSI300 rose 5.8 percent and the SSEC gained 6.3 percent.
But Shenzhen's Nasdaq-style start-up board ChiNext fell 0.6 percent.
Infrastructure, transport and machinery stocks jumped on expectation that they will benefit from China's ambitious "Modern Silk Road" plan that will stoke demand for industrial products.
Chinese liquor makers also rose sharply. Kweichow Moutai , China's biggest maker of luxury liquor baijiu, hit a record high after rivals signalled recovery in 2015.
(Reporting by Samuel Shen and Pete Sweeney; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)
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