May 6, 2020 / 7:51 AM / 21 days ago

China shares end higher as investors await fresh stimulus

BEIJING/SHANGHAI, May 6 (Reuters) - China shares settled higher on Wednesday as trading resumed after a week-long holiday, with investors awaiting follow-up supportive policies ahead of the annual parliament meeting to counter the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.

** At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was up 0.63% at 2,878.14, reversing early losses.

** Stocks are rebounding since late March from the coronavirus-fuelled sell-off, helped by massive monetary and fiscal stimulus. Investors are now watching efforts by a number of countries trying to recharge their economies by easing restrictions put in place to fight the outbreak. ** The blue-chip CSI300 index was up 0.61%, with its financial sector sub-index lower by 0.83%, the consumer staples sector up 1.28%, the real estate index down 1.68% and the healthcare sub-index up 2.17%. ** The smaller Shenzhen index ended up 1.53% and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was higher by 1.973%.

** Tensions between Washington and Beijing during the holiday period had marginal effect on A-share sentiment, as investors assume no immediate measures will be taken amid the epidemic and economic growth pressures in the United States, said Zhang Gang, an analyst with China Central Securities.

** Domestic investors are also waiting for more stimulus measures to materialise ahead of the annual parliament meeting, which is scheduled for the end of the month, Zhang added.

** Shares in major infrastructure firms rallied as Beijing unveiled plans to launch property investment trusts to spur infrastructure investment. ** China announced plans last Thursday to create a public market for real estate investment trusts (REITs), aiming to channel personal savings and private capital into infrastructure projects without overstretching already debt-laden local governments. ** As of May 5, China reported two new coronavirus cases and 20 new asymptomatic cases, data from the national health authority showed. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.76%. ** At 07:16 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 7.0888 per U.S. dollar, 0.37% weaker than the previous close of 7.0629. (Reporting by Cheng Leng in Beijing, Luoyan Liu and Andrew Galbraith in Shanghai; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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