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)