February 11, 2019 / 7:41 AM / 5 days ago

China stocks ride higher on trade talk hopes, retail sales

* .SSEC +1.4 pct, .CSI300 +1.8 pct

* U.S. officials in Beijing for fresh trade talks

* Retail sales strong in Lunar New Year holiday

HONG KONG, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Chinese stocks jumped on Monday as China and the United States moved the trade talks forward and after retailers reported strong holiday sales figures. ** The Shanghai Composite index rose 1.4 percent to 2,653.90 points, its highest close since Dec. 5, 2018. The index has risen 6.4 percent so far this year. ** The blue-chip CSI300 index gained 1.8 percent, with its financial sector sub-index advancing 0.8 percent and healthcare sub-index rising 2.4 percent. ** The smaller Shenzhen index jumped 2.9 percent and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index rallied 3.5 percent. ** The A-share market was closed last week for the Lunar New Year holiday, during which U.S. President Donald Trump said he did not plan to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping before a March 1 deadline set by the two countries to achieve a trade deal. ** However, investors stayed optimistic ahead of the next round of trade talks that started on Monday in Beijing, spearheaded on the U.S. side by Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, which will focus on issues such as intellectual property rights. ** China hopes to see good results from trade talks with the United States, the country’s foreign ministry said at a regular press briefing on Monday. ** Although the two sides will unlikely reach an immediate agreement on these issues, “the market is expecting the deadline to be extended so people are not prepared to be too negative (on share prices) at this point,” said Steven Leung, director of sales, UOB Kay Hian in Hong Kong. ** China’s retailer and catering enterprises earned over $147.5 bln during the Lunar New Year holiday, the country’s commerce ministry said late Sunday. ** That sent shares of liquor and home appliance makers up and pushed the CSI’s consumer staples index more than 4 percent higher. ** Shares in Apple Inc’s suppliers in Greater China rallied, tracking a robust rebound in the iPhone maker, after the company reported sharp growth in its services business. CSI300’s sub-index for information technology stocks jumped 4.1 percent. ** MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.2 percent. ** The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were Jiangsu Sinojit Wind Energy Technology Co Ltd and EGing Photovoltaic Technology Co Ltd , both up 10.2 percent, followed by CECEP Wind-Power Corp, which climbed 10.1 percent. ** About 15.5 billion shares were traded on the Shanghai exchange. The volume in the previous trading session was 13.2 billion. ** The Shanghai stock index is above its 50-day moving average and below its 200-day moving average. ** As of 07:01 GMT, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 17.31 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. (Reporting by Noah Sin; Editing by Shreejay Sinha)

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