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SHANGHAI: China’s blue-chip stocks closed higher on Thursday after a set of key policy rates and lending benchmarks were cut to prop up a slowing economy, with investors pinning hopes on further easing in policies by Beijing.

The CSI300 index ended 0.9% higher at 4,823.51, while the Shanghai Composite Index edged down 0.1% to 3,555.06 points.

The one-year loan prime rate (LPR) was lowered by 10 basis points, and the five-year LPR was reduced by 5 basis points - the first reduction since April 2020.

The LPR cuts were expected after official comments called for more monetary easing to prop up the broad economy.

The CSI300 banks index rose 2.2%, while consumer staples added 1.8%.

Real estate developers pared earlier gains in afternoon trade and ended down 0.5%. Reuters reported China is drafting nationwide rules to make it easier for developers to access funds from sales still held in escrow accounts, in its move to ease a severe cash crunch in the sector.

Chipmakers retreated 1.2%, as China’s industry ministry projected tight supplies of semiconductors to continue over a relatively long period of time.

The Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) said it has asked companies listed on the Nasdaq-style STAR Market to disclose environmental, social and governance (ESG)-related information in their annual reports.

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