Mainland stocks climb to near 20-month highs

2017-09-14 02:28:26 GMT2017-09-14 10:28:26(Beijing Time) Agencies

Chinese mainland stocks edged up on Wednesday to hover near 20-month highs as robust economic growth and hopes of further reforms bolster investors' confidence, even as regulators tap the brakes on riskier types of credit.

Both the blue-chip CSI300 index gained 0.12 percent to 3,842.61 points and the Shanghai Composite Index ended up 0.14 percent to 3,384.15 points.

Consumer and real estate firms led the gains, while banking stocks weakened.

After languishing for nearly two years, the mainland's stock market has come alive in recent months thanks to strong corporate profit and economic growth, rekindling the interest of investors burnt by a mid-2015 crash.

An index tracking investor confidence rose to 58.6 points, the highest level since January 2016, as investors were more optimistic about economic conditions both at home and abroad, according to the China Securities Investor Protection Fund.

China's economy has defied expectations for a slowdown this year, with early fears that a debt-crackdown will knock output eclipsed by a sustained construction boom and resurgence in global growth.

Also supporting the market, margin financing - money investors borrow from brokerages to purchase stocks - has risen in the past two weeks to the highest level this year, according to UBS Securities, reflecting improving risk appetite.

UBS strategist Gao Ting said that although policymakers remained focused on reducing financial risks, "the recent strength of the yuan against the USD points to lower risk to domestic liquidity from capital outflow."

Shares of ethanol producers surged after State media reported that China plans nationwide use of ethanol in gasoline fuel by 2020.

COFCO Biochemical Anhui jumped 6.53 percent, while Shandong Longlive Bio-Technology surged the daily limit of 10 percent.

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