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China shares near 7-year highs over policy easing signals

(Xinhua)    16:55, March 20, 2015

BEIJING, March 20 -- Chinese shares consolidated near a seven-year high on Friday, marking a rare consecutive 8 day rally.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.98 percent to finish at 3,617.32 points. The Shenzhen Component Index went up 0.93 percent to close at 12,544.45 points.

The ChiNext Index, China's Nasdaq-style board that tracks growth enterprises, gained 1.37 percent to end at a new high of 2,213.77 points.

Combined turnover on the two bourses have generally remained above 1 trillion yuan (163 billion U.S. dollars) during the past week, suggesting strong investment momentum.

Analysts believe that steady macro economic growth and clearer sector development priorities laid the foundation for a new round of bullish market.


Capital from optimistic investors poured into the stock market over the past week following China's annual parliamentary sessions, with diversified capital inflows from deposits, wealth management products and idle funds of private firms.

Stocks related to SOEs, the Internet, mass innovation and the "Made-in-China 2025" project, which were mentioned in the government work report for 2015, attracted hefty investment.

Market sentiment was boosted by remarks during the sessions.

Premier Li Keqiang said last weekend that policymakers had enough room and tools to shore up economic growth if it faltered. Central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan said capital inflow might help ease financing difficulties for firms.

The central bank injected 500 billion yuan into commercial banks via medium-term lending facility (MLF) Wednesday, raising expectations of further interest rates or reserve requirement ratio cuts.

"We see clear intent of more infrastructure investment to boost growth by the government, and property control policies will also likely be relaxed," said Li Huiyong, chief analyst with Shenwan Hongyuan Securities.

With more supportive policies to come, we can expect a record new high of 4,000 points this year, said Xu Biao, a senior analyst with Huatai Securities.


The positive signals for economic growth have also attracted foreign investors to cash in on the world's second largest economy's reform and development dividends.

The FTSE China A50 ETF, a fund with CSOP Asset Management Ltd., debuted in mid March with more than 237 million U.S dollars in assets and 13.96 million shares on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the largest initial capital investment among all U.S.-listed equity ETFs since 2007.

The fund tracks the performance of the FTSE China A50 Net Total Return Index, which provides exposure to the 50 largest stocks on the Shanghai and Shenzhen Exchanges.

The Chinese equity market was among the world's best performing markets in 2014. The Shanghai Composite Index recorded more than 60 percent year to date return. The turnover of A-Share market reached a historical high and China's equity market was the world's second largest.

The ongoing internationalization of the Renminbi (RMB), together with the recent liquidity injection and interest rate cut by the central bank, will allow China's capital market to further open up and grow by attracting foreign investors.

Moreover, the A-Share market offers diversification opportunities to global investors due to its low correlation with regional and world portfolios.

"With the launch on the NYSE, the FTSE China A50 ETF can be exchanged in Asia, Europe and North America, offering a day trading platform for foreign investors interested in Chinese stocks," said Ding Chen, CEO of CSOP.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Ma Xiaochun,Bianji)

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