China's blue-chip index ends at near 2-yr high; tech stocks rise

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SHANGHAI (Jan 13): China's blue-chip index closed at a near 2-year high on Monday, amid strength in technology shares, as investors turned optimistic ahead of the signing of the Phase 1 trade deal between China and the United States.

Aiding sentiment was recent official rhetoric that called for bolstering of China's capital market to propel its economy.

The CSI300 index rose 1%, to 4,203.99, the highest close since February 2018. The Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.8% to 3,115.57.

China and the United States will sign the Phase 1 trade deal on Wednesday. The Trump administration has invited at least 200 people to the White House for the ceremony.

The agreement marks the start of easing in the 18-month long trade war between the countries and aims to alter China's trade and economic practices, but it will still leave in place tariffs on about US$370 billion worth of Chinese imports per year.

China needs to promote pension investment to bolster its capital markets, Fan Yifei, deputy governor of the country's central bank said on Saturday, according to local media reports.

Technology shares jumped, with an index tracking IT shares ending nearly 3% higher, while China's tech-heavy ChiNext board rose 1.6%.

The CSI300 financial sector sub-index ended higher by 0.92%, the consumer staples sector up 1.52%, the real estate index up 0.98% and the healthcare sub-index up 0.64%.

The smaller Shenzhen index ended up 1.36% and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was higher by 1.622%.

Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.68%.

By 0713 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 6.8997 per US dollar, 0.28% firmer than the previous close of 6.9191.

The largest percentage gainers on the main Shanghai Composite index were Wuxi Commercial Mansion Grand Orient Co Ltd, up 10.12%, followed by CRED Holding Co Ltd, gaining 10.06% and Hangzhou Youngsun Intelligent Equipment Co Ltd, up by 10.04%.

The largest percentage losers were Beijing Vantone Real Estate Co Ltd, down 10.02%, followed by ButOne Information Corporation XiAn losing 10.01% and Ningbo Shenglong Automotive Powertrain System Co Ltd down by 8.08%.