May 19, 2020 / 5:12 AM / 14 days ago

China shares rise on upbeat virus vaccine data, economic recovery hopes

BEIJING/SHANGHAI May 19 (Reuters) - China shares rose on Tuesday, tracking gains on the Wall Street, as an early-stage trial for a coronavirus vaccine showed encouraging data, while increasing hopes for an economic recovery also aided sentiment. ** At the midday break, the Shanghai Composite index was up 0.53% at 2,890.56, after opening higher at 0.8%. ** China’s blue-chip CSI300 index was up 0.64%, with its financial sector sub-index higher by 0.53%, the consumer staples sector down 0.01%, the real estate index down 0.28% and the healthcare sub-index up 0.27%. ** Chinese H-shares listed in Hong Kong rose 1.53% to 9,875.4, while the Hang Seng Index was up 1.79% at 24,363.57. ** The smaller Shenzhen index was up 0.71% and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was higher by 0.87%.

** Overnight, Wall Street rallied after data from Moderna Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine, the first to be tested in the United States, showed it produced protective antibodies in a small group of healthy volunteers.

** Oil prices, too, jumped to their highest in over two months, as the easing of global lockdown boosted hopes of economic activity.

** A-share’s sentiment was partially lifted by the vaccine hope as the benchmark index opened higher, Kaiyuan Securities’ analyst Tian Weidong said, adding that investors were also bargain hunting for undervalued banking and insurance shares.

** Also supporting gains, Beijing said in a Monday guideline it will open more sectors to private firms and reduce direct government interference in microeconomic activities.

** The guideline comes just days before the annual parliament meeting and is set to be a key discussion point among policymakers, according to a research note of Everbright Sun Hung Kai.

** China reported six confirmed COVID-19 cases for May 18, including a new case in Wuhan, compared with seven a day earlier.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 1.66% while Japan’s Nikkei index was up 1.96%.

** The yuan was quoted at 7.1101 per U.S. dollar, 0.01% firmer than the previous close of 7.1105. (Reporting by Cheng Leng in Beijing and Andrew Galbraith in Shanghai; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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