May 8, 2020 / 7:53 AM / 2 months ago

China stocks rise as Beijing expands access to markets, trade tensions ease

SHANGHAI, May 8 (Reuters) - China stocks closed higher on Friday as investors cheered Beijing opening up its financial markets further to foreign investors and talks between U.S. and Chinese trade officials.

** China finalised rules on Thursday that would scrap quotas under two major inbound investment schemes, giving qualified foreign institutions unlimited access to Chinese stocks and bonds.

** At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was up 0.83% at 2,895.34 and the blue-chip CSI300 index rose about 1%. For the week, SSEC gained 1.2%, while CSI300 was up 1.3%.

** Adding to the upbeat mood, top U.S. and Chinese trade representatives discussed their Phase 1 trade deal on Friday, with China saying they agreed to improve the atmosphere for its implementation and the United States saying both sides expected obligations to be met.

** The financial sector sub-index gained 0.91%. The consumer staples sector edged 0.4% higher, the real estate index was up 1.33% and the healthcare sub-index gained 0.8%.

** Consumer firms led gains in markets, with the CSI300 consumer discretionary index ending up 2.8% after China says sales of durable consumer goods such as automobiles and home appliances rebounded significantly during the May Day holiday.

** The smaller Shenzhen index ended up 1.17% and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was higher by 0.873%.

** On Friday, foreign investors purchased a net of about 6.6 billion yuan ($932.59 million) worth of A-shares via the Stock Connect linking Hong Kong and mainland in the morning.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 1.07%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 2.56%.

** At 07:08 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 7.0768 per U.S. dollar, 0.12% firmer than the previous close of 7.085.

** As of 07:09 GMT, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 27.06% over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. ($1 = 7.0771 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)

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