* Shanghai shares add 0.4%, blue-chips up 0.9%
* China records daily drop in new infection rate
* UBS tips online gaming, e-commerce stocks
SHANGHAI/HONG KONG, Feb 11 (Reuters) - China shares closed higher for a sixth straight session on Tuesday as a fall in new cases of the coronavirus in China lifted investor sentiment. ** The Shanghai Composite index closed 0.4% higher at 2,901.67. The blue-chip CSI300 index gained 0.9%. ** CSI300’s financial sector sub-index rose 0.8%, the consumer staples sector was up 1.7%, the real estate index climbed 1.2% and the healthcare sub-index edged up 0.4%. ** The smaller Shenzhen index was flat and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index fell 0.7%. ** There were 2,478 new confirmed cases in mainland China on Feb. 10, down from 3,062 on the previous day, bringing the total to 42,638. ** Investors became more confident as the number of newly confirmed cases outside epicentre Hubei province dropped, Zhang Yanbing, an analyst with Zheshang Securitiess said, adding that the valuation of stocks was cheap after last week’s fall. ** China’s central bank should consider lowering its benchmark deposit rate to enable banks to reduce lending rates and help small businesses weather the economic fallout from the fast-spreading coronavirus, a central bank advisor said. ** “In the near term, we recommend sectors that will likely see demand growth as locals opt to stay home, mainly the online gaming and e-commerce sectors, and also resilient yield stocks that offer diversification benefits in a volatile market,” UBS Chief Investment Office said in a note on Tuesday. ** Investors will also be keeping an eye on remarks by U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell at a Congress testimony later on Tuesday. ** Shares of e-commerce giant Alibaba dropped 2.5% in Hong Kong after a Bloomberg report said the company will not be allowed to join the Stock Connect trading link, which grants mainland China and Hong Kong equity investors mutual access. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by almost 1%. ** By 0707 GMT, the yuan was 0.13% stronger at 6.9783 per U.S. dollar. ** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is down 4.9% and the CSI300 has fallen 3.5%. Shanghai stocks have declined 2.5% this month. ** About 26.92 billion shares were traded on the Shanghai exchange. The volume in the previous trading session was 29.49 billion. ** The Shanghai stock index is below its 50-day moving average and below its 200-day moving average.
Reporting by Luoyan Liu and Noah Sin; editing by Uttaresh.V