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China stocks set for weekly rise on upbeat data, policy support

* SSEC -0.3%, CSI300 -0.6%, HSI 0.8%

* HK->Shanghai Connect daily quota used 0.6%, Shanghai->HK daily quota used 4.6%

* FTSE China A50 +0.0%

SHANGHAI, Oct 16 (Reuters) - China stocks were on track to end the week firmer, buoyed by fresh policy support and upbeat data that pointed to an economic recovery from the COVID-19 fallout, despite a slight easing on the day after heavy selling in consumer and healthcare players.

** The CSI300 index was down 0.6% at 4,772.37 points at the end of the morning session on Friday, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.3% to 3,322.85 points.

** Dragging the market lower, the CSI300 consumer staples index and the CSI300 healthcare index both slipped 1.1% by midday.

** For the week, the CSI300 gained 1.9% and was poised for its third straight weekly gain, while SSEC was up 1.6%.

** “The market found support in the country’s relatively robust consumption recovery during the Golden Week holiday,” said Zheng Zichun, an analyst with AVIC Securities.

** Investors cheered latest upbeat trade data showing China’s imports grew at their fastest pace this year in September. New bank loans grew more than expected in September, fuelled by a jump in corporate loans.

** Beijing’s continued policy support for its capital markets also helped boost risk appetite earlier in the week.

** China said it will extend its initial public offering (IPOs) reforms to all parts of its stock markets at an appropriate time.

** Though analysts urged caution given various uncertainties.

** The A-share market could remain range-bound ahead of the U.S. elections, which could cause fluctuations in the U.S. stock market, while investors are still cautious over geopolitical tensions including Sino-Indian border dispute and the tensions in Taiwan strait, AVIC Securities’ Zheng said.

** Morgan Stanley analysts said in a report that investors should keep an eye on the U.S. election outcome, China’s fifth plenum later this month and earnings results in the third quarter.

** In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index added 0.8% to 24,347.65 points, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index gained 1.3% to 9,887.15. (Reporting by Luoyan Liu and Andrew Galbraith, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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