July 31, 2020 / 7:54 AM / 8 days ago

China stocks post biggest monthly rise in 17 months amid coronavirus uncertainty

* SEC +0.71%, CSI300 +0.84%

* SSEC gains 10.9% in July, CSI300 up 12.8%, biggest monthly rises since April 2015

* China’s factories accelerate recovery in July

BEIJING, July 31 (Reuters) - China stocks closed higher on Friday in choppy trading amid uncertainties in coronavirus resurgence, while liquidity and retail investor enthusiasm fuelled the main indexes to post the biggest monthly percentage rises since February last year.

** At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was up 0.71% at 3,310.01. The index ended July with a 10.9% rise, its biggest monthly gain since February 2019. ** The blue-chip CSI300 index was up 0.84%, posting its biggest monthly gain since last February, rising 12.8%.

** The financial sector sub-index was higher by 0.5%, the consumer staples sector up 0.34%, the real estate index gained 0.18% and the healthcare sub-index rose 1.39%. ** The smaller Shenzhen index ended up 1.33% and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was higher by 1.887%.

** China’s factories recovered at a faster pace in July as improving prospects for electrical and pharmaceutical goods helped sustain a broader recovery from earlier coronavirus shutdowns. ** But the country’s health authority reported 127 new coronavirus cases on the mainland on July 30, up from 105 the previous day, the highest daily number since March 5.

** Bleak U.S. economy data that showed it suffered the biggest blow to GDP since the Great Depression in the second quarter also overshadowed global recovery hopes.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.12%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 2.82%. ** At 07:04 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 6.99 per U.S. dollar, 0.28% firmer than the previous close of 7.0096. ** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is up 8.5% and the CSI300 has risen 14.6%, while China’s H-share index listed in Hong Kong is down 9.5%. Shanghai stocks have risen 10.9% this month.

** About 35.38 billion shares were traded on the Shanghai exchange, roughly 90.0% of the market’s 30-day moving average of 39.30 billion shares a day. The volume in the previous trading session was 34.07 billion. (Reporting by Zhang Yan in Beijing and Andrew Galbraith in Shanghai; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)

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