SHANGHAI, Dec 29 (Reuters) - China stocks ended higher on Friday, capping a strong year of gains as domestic and global investors increased their exposure to mainland markets despite worries about a slowing economy and further regulatory crackdowns. ** At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was up 11.59 points, or 0.35 percent, at 3,307.97. The benchmark ended the year 6.6 percent higher. ** The blue-chip CSI300 index was up 0.31 percent, with its financial sector sub-index higher by 0.35 percent, the consumer staples sector down 1.5 percent, the real estate index up 1.66 percent and healthcare sub-index up 0.62 percent.
** CSI300 was up 21.8 percent in 2017. Blue chips have led gains in China’s stock markets this year, while many small caps have languished.
** The smaller Shenzhen index ended up 0.64 percent and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was higher by 0.44 percent. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.34 percent while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 0.08 percent. ** At 0703 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 6.5075 per U.S. dollar, 0.39 percent firmer than the previous close of 6.5333. ** The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were Hangzhou Cable Co Ltd up 10.02 percent, followed by Furen Pharmaceutical Group Industry Co Ltd gaining 9.52 percent and Hangzhou Silan Microelectronics Co Ltd up by 8.43 percent. ** The largest percentage losses in the Shanghai index were CRED Holding Co Ltd down 9.49 percent, followed by Yangzhou Yaxing Motor Coach Co Ltd losing 8.55 percent and Wenyi Suntech Co Ltd down by 7.27 percent. ** This year, the Shanghai stock index is up 6.21 percent, the CSI300 is up 21.8 percent this year, while China’s H-share index listed in Hong Kong is up 24.4 percent. Shanghai stocks have declined 0.63 percent this month. ** About 14.16 billion shares were traded on the Shanghai exchange, roughly 91.2 percent of the market’s 30-day moving average of 15.52 billion shares a day. The volume in the previous trading session was 17.54 billion. ** As of 0704 GMT, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 30.43 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. ** The Shanghai stock index is below its 50-day moving average and above its 200-day moving average. ** The price-to-earnings ratio of the Shanghai index was 14.82 as of the last full trading day while the dividend yield was 2 percent. ** So far this week, the market capitalisation of the Shanghai stock index has fallen by -0.07 percent to 28.78 trillion yuan. (Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Sam Holmes)