November 1, 2018 / 8:22 AM / in 13 days

China stocks gain for third straight day; policy support pledge boosts sentiment

* .SSEC up 0.13 pct, blue-chip CSI300 up 0.74 pct

* Profit-taking trims gains

By Noah Sin

HONG KONG, Nov 1 (Reuters) - Stocks in China rose for the third straight day on Thursday after the politburo, a top decision-making body of the ruling Communist Party, announced policy measures to support capital markets and the economy. ** The Shanghai Composite index edged up 0.13 percent to close at 2,602.78 while the blue-chip CSI300 index was up 0.74 percent. ** CSI 300’s financial sector sub-index gained 0.12 percent, the consumer staples sector up 1.98 percent and healthcare sub-index up 1 percent. ** The smaller Shenzhen index ended up 0.93 percent and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was higher by 0.84 percent.

** The politburo, a top decision-making body, said on Wednesday that there is more “downward pressure” on the Chinese economy and promised action to support businesses. The policymakers also pledged to ensure the healthy development of capital markets, according to the statement carried by Xinhua.

** The fact that capital markets featured prominently on the politburo’s list “helped push up the market in the morning”, but some profit taking in the afternoon saw the indexes pare earlier gains, said a stock analyst at a local brokerage.

** The statement from the politburo signalled a fundamental shift in China’s policy focus from ideological to economic goals and within the latter, from keeping leverage stable to loosening, the analyst, who did not want to be named, added. ** “They did not talk about party construction,” he said, referring to the push for Communist Party ideology in private companies. “They also didn’t talk about deleveraging or name real estate companies for having too much leverage.” ** CSI 300’s real estate sub-index went up by 1.05 percent .

** Earlier on Thursday, the official Shanghai Securities Times reported that Chinese regulators plan to give higher ratings in annual risk evaluations to stock brokerages who are able to help ease listed companies’ margin call pressures.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.9 percent while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 1.06 percent. ** At 07:36 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 6.9496 per U.S. dollar, 0.35 percent firmer than the previous close of 6.974. ** The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were Xinjiang Qingsong Building Materials and Chemicals Group Co Ltd, up 10.13 percent, followed by Beijing AriTime Intelligent Control Co Ltd and Ningbo Techmation Co Ltd, both up by 10.07 percent. ** The largest percentage losers in the Shanghai index were Zhejiang Hugeleaf Co Ltd, down 10 percent, followed by Jiangsu SINOJIT Wind Energy Technology Co Ltd, down 8.52 percent and Hunan Huasheng Co Ltd, down 5.66 percent. ** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index and the CSI300 are down 21.2 percent.

Reporting by Noah Sin; Editing by Vyas Mohan

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