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BEIJING: China stocks end higher on Thursday, led by information technology, financial and consumer firms, as sentiment was lifted by government pledges to focus on a consumption recovery and reduce certain income tax rates.

** At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was up 0.62% at 3,619.19 points, posting its biggest daily percentage gain since Dec. 21.

** The blue-chip CSI300 index was up 0.8%, its best daily performance since Dec.9.

** Among gaining sectors, information and technology stocks were up 1.7%, the media subindex surged by 5.4% and semiconductor shares added 2.6%. Consumer staples gained 0.8%.

** China's commerce ministry on Wednesday vowed to focus on the continued recovery of consumption in 2022.

** The country also said it would extend some favourable income tax policies to ease the burden for middle- and low-income groups, state media reported, quoting a cabinet meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang.

** The measure is expected to cut taxes by 110 billion yuan ($17.27 billion) a year.

** Season-wise, analysts expect liquor, food and beverage sales to gain momentum during the upcoming new year and Chinese Spring Festival holidays, benefiting related sectors.

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