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Markets

China stocks climb on consumer, healthcare boost; Hong Kong rises

  • Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.78% while Japan's Nikkei index was up 0.64%.
01 Apr, 2021

SHANGHAI: China stocks rose on Thursday, led by consumer and healthcare shares, even as investors appeared to have shrugged off a survey showing weaker-than-expected factory activity growth in the world's second-largest economy.

** The CSI300 index was up 0.6% at 5,079.97 points by the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.3% to 3,450.36 points.

** China's factory activity in March expanded at the slowest pace in almost a year on softer overall domestic demand, but underlying economic conditions remained positive even as input and output inflationary pressures intensified for manufacturers.

** The findings contrast with those in an official survey, which showed manufacturing activity grew at a stronger pace as large firms ramped up production after a brief lull during the Lunar New Year holidays.

** "Overall, corporate earnings are good and basically in line with market expectations, while China's latest economic data also proved solid," Yan Kaiwen, an analyst with China Fortune Securities said, adding that the market correction after the Lunar New Year was mainly caused by lofty valuations rather than earnings and economic fundamentals.

** "What I worry most are external risks, in particular the US 10-year treasury yield, which could probably become a focus for investors again when it rises past 2% and weigh on the markets," he added.

** The Hang Seng index added 1.1% to 28,699.85 points, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index gained 1.4% to 11,122.59.

** Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.78% while Japan's Nikkei index was up 0.64%.

** The yuan was quoted at 6.5686 per US dollar, 0.26% weaker than the previous close of 6.5518.

** As of 0416 GMT, China's A-shares were trading at a premium of 33.42% over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares.

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