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SHANGHAI: China stocks closed higher on Thursday, led by non-ferrous metal and new energy stocks, helped by bets for more policy easing as inflation eased, while signs of a less hawkish stance by the US Federal Reserve also boosted sentiment.

The blue-chip CSI300 index rose 0.2% to 4,629.16, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.1% to 3,468.04.

Non-ferrous metal gained 3.6%, with lithium stocks leading gains. Youngy Co soared nearly 10%, and Ganfeng Lithium jumped 6.7%.

New energy stocks rose 2.8%, while new energy vehicles went up 2.9%.

Environmental governance stocks added 2.2% after China said it will collect data on soil quality and use in its third national soil survey running from 2022 until the end of 2025, as part of an effort to ensure grain security.

However, real estate developers lost 1.8%, while tourism companies retreated 2.6% as Hong Kong and some mainland cities are battling with COVID-19 outbreaks.

Data on Wednesday showed China’s factory-gate inflation eased to its slowest pace in six months and consumer price growth also softened in January, potentially leaving more room for the People’s Bank of China to ease policy to support the slowing economy.

Worries about a super-hawkish Fed rate-tightening campaign took a step down overnight after minutes of the latest policy meeting signalled a more measured, data-dependent approach from central bank officials.

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