June 24, 2020 / 7:18 AM / 13 days ago

China stocks post weekly gains on upbeat data, Beijing's reforms

SHANGHAI, June 24 (Reuters) - China stocks ended higher on Wednesday to close the shortened three-session week on a firmer note, as investors cheered improving data from key economies and Beijing’s latest reforms in its capital markets.

** China’s stock market will be closed on Thursday and Friday for the Dragon Boat Festival.

** At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was up 0.3% at 2,979.55, while the blue-chip CSI300 index added 0.42%.

** The start-up board ChiNext Composite index was unchanged.

** For the week, SSEC gained 0.4%, while CSI300 rose 1%.

** The start-up board index advanced 2.7% this week, logging its fifth straight weekly gain.

** Investors have been paying more attention to Beijing’s reforms in its capital markets, rather than to other factors, including the Sino-U.S. trade tensions and the coronavirus outbreak, which has been brought under control now, said Yan Kaiwen, an analyst with China Fortune Securities.

** Also driving “risk-on” sentiment was data showing sales of new U.S. single-family homes increased more than expected in May and a slower-than-expected contraction of U.S. and European business activity last month.

** The benchmark Shanghai index could be trading above the 3,000-level in the second half of 2020 following its revamp, Yan added.

** China said it would revamp its benchmark equity index by introducing more high-tech strength and removing loss-making companies.

** Chinese investors are redoubling bets on already pricey domestic technology shares, playing for reforms and stimulus in a sector key to Beijing’s power rivalry with Washington.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.42%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 0.07%.

** At 07:06 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 7.0665 per U.S. dollar, 0.13% weaker than the previous close of 7.0575. (Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom)

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