China stocks rise on optimism over Beijing's reform ambition

Last Updated: Thu, Dec 21, 2017 13:00 hrs

SHANGHAI, Dec 21 (Reuters) - China stocks rose on Thursday, as investors were inspired by Beijing's commitment to maintain steady economic growth next year while deepening structural reforms and curbing financial risks.

** The Chinese government will push forward with structural supply-side reforms and maintain neutral monetary policy in 2018 as it looks to improve the quality of growth, the Xinhua news agency said on Wednesday, citing top leaders at a key economic planning meeting.

** At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was up 13.08 points or 0.4 percent at 3,300.68. The blue-chip CSI300 index was up 0.93 percent.

** Major resources shares rose, as investors bet the industry would benefit from further supply-side reforms that would give incumbents bigger pricing power. ** Healthcare and consumer stocks also gained on optimism they would benefit from China's transition toward "quality" growth. Meanwhile, the government's pledge to reduce risks in the financial system gave a boost to banking shares.. ** The smaller Shenzhen index ended up 0.72 percent and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was higher by 0.41 percent. ** Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.15 percent while Japan's Nikkei index closed down 0.11 percent . ** At 07:03 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 6.573 per U.S. dollar, 0.07 percent firmer than the previous close of 6.5775. ** The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were Poly Real Estate Group Co Ltd up 7.61 percent, followed by Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group Co Ltd gaining 7.12 percent and China Jushi Co Ltd up 7.03 percent. ** The largest percentage losses were Guizhou Yibai Pharmaceutical Co Ltd down 7.54 percent, followed by Hebei Jinniu Chemical Industry Co Ltd losing 5.98 percent and Wenyi Suntech Co Ltd down by 5.05 percent. ** About 14.21 billion shares were traded on the Shanghai exchange, roughly 88.1 percent of the market's 30-day moving average of 16.13 billion shares a day. The volume in the previous trading session was 13.77 billion. ** As of 07:03 GMT, China's A-shares were trading at a premium of 30.82 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. ** The Shanghai stock index is below its 50-day moving average and above its 200-day moving average. ** The price-to-earnings ratio of the Shanghai index was 14.78 as of Thursday's close of trade while the dividend yield was 2 percent. ** So far this week, the market capitalisation of the Shanghai stock index has risen by 0.90 percent to 28.71 trillion yuan.

(Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)