January 18, 2019 / 7:29 AM / a month ago

China stocks post 3rd week of gains on trade optimism

* Shanghai stocks higher, blue-chip CSI300 index up

* U.S. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin weighs lifting tariffs on China -WSJ

* China trims 2017 GDP growth rate just before 2018 pace unveiled

SHANGHAI, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Chinese stocks rose on Friday, posting their third straight week of gains, buoyed by hopes that Beijing and Washington could reach a deal to end their tariff war.

** The blue-chip CSI300 index closed up 1.8 percent at 3,168.17 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.4 percent to 2,596.01 points.

** For the week, CSI was up 2.4 percent, while SSEC gained 1.7 pct, both up for a third straight week and posting their biggest weekly gains in two months.

** The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin discussed lifting some or all tariffs imposed on Chinese imports and suggested offering a tariff rollback during trade discussions scheduled for Jan. 30.

** Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will visit the United States on Jan. 30 and 31 for the latest round of trade talks aimed at resolving the dispute between the world’s two largest economies.

** In focus was also the country’s economic health, ahead of Monday’s release of preliminary GDP growth figures for the latest quarter and full-year 2018.

** China’s statistics bureau on Friday revised down its final 2017 gross domestic product (GDP) growth to 6.8 percent from 6.9 percent, after scaling back initial estimates of the industrial and services sector.

** China may set an economic growth target for this year of between 6 percent and 6.5 percent, lower than for 2018, the official China Daily newspaper reported on Friday, citing unnamed sources close to policymakers.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.65 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 1.29 percent.

** At 07:11 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 6.7711 per U.S. dollar, 0.12 percent firmer than the previous close of 6.779.

** The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were Shanghai Hongda Mining Co Ltd, up 10.1 percent, followed by Sichuan Hongda Co Ltd, gaining 10.04 percent and Jiangsu Changjiang Electronics Technology Co Ltd, up 10.02 percent.

** The largest percentage losses in the Shanghai index were Changshu Fengfan Power Equipment Co Ltd, down 10.03 percent, followed by Pengqi Technology Development Co Ltd losing 10.03 percent and Nanjing OLO Home Furnishing Co Ltd down by 10.02 percent.

** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is up 4.1 percent and the CSI300 has risen 5.2 percent, while China’s H-share index listed in Hong Kong is up 5 percent.

** As of 07:12 GMT, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 18.02 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. (Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Shreejay Sinha)

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