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China stocks rise as investors bet on potential policy support

SHANGHAI, Nov 18 (Reuters) - China stocks edged up on Wednesday as investors cheered the government’s pledge to implement additional policy measures to prop up the coronavirus-ravaged broad economy.

** China will promote economic growth to a “reasonable” range while pursuing higher quality development, Premier Li Keqiang was quoted as saying on Tuesday night by state radio.

** Remarks made by Premier Li helped assuage investor concerns that authorities might soon abandon policy stimulus plans as the recovery in the world’s second-largest economy from its COVID-19 slump gathered momentum.

** Senior officials from the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said the bank will consider policy changes and more flexible monetary policy as the economy recovers but won’t make any hasty moves.

** At the midday break, the Shanghai Composite index was up 0.47% at 3,355.69 points, while China’s blue-chip CSI300 index climbed 0.15%. ** The Hang Seng Index advanced on Wednesday to its highest level since July 7. By midday, the index was up 0.6% at 26,572.66, while Chinese H-shares listed in Hong Kong rose 0.91% to 10,646.05.

** Some traders said news of forming the China-backed trade pact continued to support the market as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) would improve China’s trade conditions in the region in the long run. ** Fifteen Asia-Pacific economies formed the world’s largest free trade bloc on Sunday, a China-backed deal that excludes the United States, which had left a rival Asia-Pacific grouping under President Donald Trump. ** The smaller Shenzhen index was down 0.27%, the start-up board ChiNext Composite index dropped 1.07% and Shanghai’s tech-focused STAR50 index slipped 0.29%. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.09% while Japan’s Nikkei index slipped 0.65%. ** The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were Harbin Dongan Auto Engine Co Ltd, up 10.07%, followed by Ye Chiu Metal Recycling China Ltd gaining 10.07% and Jiangsu Lianyungang Port Co Ltd rising 10.04%. (Reporting by Winni Zhou and Andrew Galbraith, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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