September 29, 2017 / 7:31 AM / a year ago

China stocks rise on SOE reform hopes, post robust quarterly gains

SHANGHAI, Sept 29 (Reuters) - China stocks were firm on Friday, buoyed by hopes of further reforms to the mainland’s state-owned enterprises and by consumer firms as investors bet shoppers would spend big during the upcoming week-long National Day holiday.

The blue-chip CSI300 index rose 0.4 percent, to 3,836.50, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.3 percent to 3,348.94 points.

For the month, the CSI300 gained also gained 0.4 percent but it posted a solid 4.6 percent rise for the quarter, taking its gain so far this year to around 16 percent. Much of the gains have come from resources stocks thanks to the country’s year-long construction boom.

The SSEC dipped 0.4 percent in September, but climbed 4.9 percent in the quarter, bringing its year-to-date rise to a more modest 7.9 percent.

Most sectors rose on the last trading day before the week-long holiday, with an index tracking China’s consumer sector advancing 0.8 percent.

Chinese markets will be shut next week for the holiday and will not resume trade until Oct. 9.

The focus is now on the upcoming Communist Party Congress starting on Oct. 18, a once-every-five-years meeting where new leaders are appointed and the government’s key political and economic initiatives are laid out, though details are usually not announced until much later.

Traders also will be closely watching upcoming economic data for September, culminating in third-quarter GDP on Oct. 19. Worries that China’s robust economic growth may be starting to fade had triggered some selling this week, though most analysts do not expect a sharp loss of momentum.

Regulators have vowed to keep Chinese markets stable ahead of the party congress.

A government official said on Thursday that the framework for China’s state-owned enterprises (SOEs) is “basically complete” following five years of aggressive restructuring, and that Beijing will soon roll out mixed-ownership reforms for another batch of firms.

Such talk typically fuels speculation of more merger and acquisition activity, boosting shares of both state giants and smaller firms across various sectors. (Reporting by Samuel Shen and John Ruwitch; Editing by Sam Holmes)

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