SHANGHAI, June 12 (Reuters) - China stocks ended Friday slightly higher as investors, heading into the mid-year earnings season, digest a slew of economic data this week that showed the economy remains sluggish.
Overall sentiment was cautious as 25 companies will launch initial public offerings next week, which analysts estimate could lock up 5.5 trillion yuan ($886.20 billion) of liquidity.
The CSI300 index of the largest listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen rose 0.5 percent, to 5,335.12, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.9 percent, to 5,166.35 points.
For the week, CSI300 was up 2 percent, and the SSEC rose 2.9 percent.
Property stocks were firmer, underpinned by official data pointing to an improvement in real estate investment and home sales in China, with the recovery most obvious in major cities.
Several banks in the southern Chinese boom town of Shenzhen increased mortgage rates after the city’s property market turned up in the wake of stimulus policies unveiled by Beijing in late March, local newspaper reported on Friday.
But other data published this week, including fixed asset investment, consumer and factory inflation, remained weak.
“China will continue to loosen monetary policies, because there’s no other way out,” said Hong Hao, chief strategist at Bank of Communications International.
“The uptrend of the market is not changed, despite rising volatility,” he said, predicting China will reduce banks’ reserve requirement ratios “in a matter of weeks”.
Shenzhen’s growth board ChiNext rose 1.4 percent, continued its rebound as some investors believed last week’s correction was excessive.
Investors drew some encouragement by profit forecasts from listed firms as they enter the earnings season.
Around 60 percent of the 1,024 Chinese companies that have so far published performance forecast said they expect a profit.
Among them, 149 companies forecast a rise of more than 50 percent and 102 firms predict their profits would double, according to local media reports. (Reporting by Samuel Shen and Pete Sweeney)