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China Market extends gains on policy easing hopes
16-May-19   16:34 Hrs IST
Headline indices of the Mainland China equity market closed higher on Thursday, 16 May 2019, extending a strong rally in the previous session, on speculation of more stimulus from central bank to shore up the world's second largest economy amid weaker than expected Chinese economic data and as external uncertainties. At closing bell, the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index advanced 0.58%, or 17.03 points, to 2,955.71. The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China's second exchange, rose 0.44%, or 6.90 points, to 1,584.82. The blue-chip CSI300 index added 0.45%, or 16.87 points, to 3,743.96.

The strength in the stock market after weak April activity data indicated that the expectations of economic data and policy support are more important than actual readings. China on Wednesday reported surprisingly weaker growth in retail sales and industrial output for April, adding pressure on Beijing to roll out more stimulus as the trade war with the US rumbles on. Growth in industrial output slowed more-than-expected to 5.4% in April from a year earlier, pulling back from a surprisingly strong 4-1/2-year high of 8.5% in March. Retail sales were also worse-than-expected, with the headline number rising 7.2%; the slowest pace since May 2003.

Shares in industrial sectors posted more gains than declines. Shares of nonferrous metal led the gains. Shares in the agriculture industry continued their strong performance. The communications industry performed less well.

Shares in Beijing Jingyuntong Technology Co and Ningbo Yunsheng Co jumped by the daily cap of 10%.

Shares in Huawei suppliers took a nosedive, after the Trump administration hit the telecoms giant with severe sanctions on Wednesday adding another incendiary element to the US-China trade dispute just as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he would visit China soon for more talks.

CURRENCY NEWS: China's yuan edged down against the U.S. dollar on Thursday, inline with China's central bank softer midpoint fixing. Prior to market opening, the People's Bank of China (PBOC) lowered its official yuan midpoint 0.06% to 6.8688 per dollar. In the spot market, onshore yuan opened at 6.8800 per dollar and was changing hands at 6.8770 at midday, only 2 bps softer than the previous late session close and 0.12% weaker than the midpoint.

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