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SHANGHAI: China stocks jumped on Thursday, as better-than-expected February bank lending data lifted market sentiment and relieved some policy tightening worries.

Official data showed that new bank lending in China fell less than expected in February from January as the central bank sought to cool credit growth to contain debt risks while maintaining support for ailing small firms.

At the close, the benchmark Shanghai Composite index was up 2.36% at 3,436.83, posting its best day since Oct. 12, 2020.

The blue-chip CSI300 index was up 2.49% to 5,128.22, recording its best session in nearly two months. The financial sector sub-index was higher by 2.67%, the consumer staples sector rose 3.45%, the real estate index edged up 1.17% and the healthcare sub-index jumped 2.72%.

The smaller Shenzhen index ended up 2.17% and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was higher by 2.61%.

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