China shares near 7-year highs over policy easing signals

Updated: 2015-03-20 15:28


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China shares near 7-year highs over policy easing signals

An investor smiles in front of a screen displaying stock indices and prices of shares at a securities brokerage in Huaibei, Anhui province, March 20. [Photo / IC]

BEIJING -- 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) 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.

Upbeat sentiment

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.

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