China stocks ended higher in the last trading session before the Lunar New Year holiday, with blue-chip stocks scaling an over 13-year high on Wednesday as strong inflation data underscored a recovery in the world’s second-largest economy.
** The blue-chip CSI300 index rose 2.1% to 5,807.72, the highest since Oct. 17, 2007, while the Shanghai Composite Index added 1.4% to 3,655.09.
** For the holiday-shortened week, CSI300 climbed 5.9%, while SSEC added 4.5%. The A-share market will be closed from Thursday through Feb. 17, and resume trading on Feb. 18, 2021.
** China’s factory gate prices rose in annual terms in January for the first time in a year, as months of strong manufacturing growth pushed raw material costs higher. The producer price index rose 0.3% from a year earlier, the fastest pace of increase since May 2019.
** Also helping sentiment, worries eased of an abrupt policy shift amid recent tight liquidity conditions, after the latest lending data.
** China’s new bank loans leapt to new highs in January, boosted by seasonal demand, while broad credit growth slowed, as the central bank walks a tightrope between supporting a recovering economy and rising debt risks.
** “We believe the equities market would benefit from the positive signal after expectations-beating social financing data,” analysts at Ping An Securities said in report, adding cyclical sectors and export firms would benefit from the outlook of a recovery both at home and abroad.
** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.57%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 0.19%.
** At 0710 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 6.4375 per U.S. dollar, 0.05% weaker than the previous close of 6.4342.
** As of 0711 GMT, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 37.23% over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares.
(Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Devika Syamnath)