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China stocks at highest in 2 weeks as c.bank seeks to stabilize yuan

Mon 27th August, 2018 8:40am
* SSEC +1.9 pct, CSI300 +2.4 pct * China cenbank revives "counter-cyclical factor" for yuan fixing * Airline shares rally on stronger yuan * Consumer, healthcare firms up after recent slump By Andrew Galbraith SHANGHAI, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Shares in China ended at two-week highs on Monday, lifted by a stronger yuan after a tweak in the central bank's management of the currency boosted airline stocks and other firms with heavy dollar exposure. The Shanghai Composite index .SSEC closed up 1.9 percent at 2,780.90, its biggest daily percentage gain since August 7. China's blue-chip CSI300 index .CSI300 ended 2.4 percent higher, while the financial sector sub-index .CSI300FS rose 1.7 percent. The consumer staples sector gained 3.9 percent, while the real estate index was up 4.2 percent and the healthcare sub-index rose 3.9 percent. Consumer, healthcare and real estate firms have suffered during a market slump in recent weeks, dogged by a vaccine scandal that has undermined consumer confidence, and concern over stepped-up property controls. The yuan hovered at a 2-1/2-week high against the U.S. dollar on Monday after China's central bank revived a "counter-cyclical factor" in its daily fixing to support the currency, arresting a record 10-week slide that has rattled global markets. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N1VI1FD The yuan CNY=CFXS was quoted at 6.8167 per U.S. dollar, 23 pips firmer than the previous close of 6.819. Airline shares were among the winners on Monday as investors bet that a stronger yuan would boost their bottom lines. China Southern Airlines 600029.SS gained 4.5 percent and Air China 601111.SS was up 3.3 percent. A broader index of transport firms .CSI300TRANS gained 1.9 percent. The smaller Shenzhen index .SZSC rose 2.5 percent and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index .CHINEXTP ended 3 percent higher. Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index .MIAPJ0000PUS was firmer by 1.1 percent while Japan's Nikkei index .N225 ended 0.9 percent higher. Shares around the region were supported by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's comments on Friday that a gradual approach to raising rates was best to protect the U.S. economy and job growth. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL2N1VG053 The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were Tianjin Quanyechang Group Co Ltd 600821.SS , which rose 10.09 percent, Shanghai 3F New Materials Co Ltd 600636.SS , which gained 10.02 percent, and CIG ShangHai Co Ltd 603083.SS , which finished 10.02 percent higher. Shanghai's largest percentage losses were led by Gansu Gangtai Holding Group Co Ltd 600687.SS , down 10.07 percent, followed by Xinjiang Korla Pear Co Ltd 600506.SS losing 9.96 percent and Anxin Trust Co Ltd 600816.SS down by 6.6 percent. The Shanghai index is down 15.9 percent so far this year, while China's H-share index is off by 5.4 percent. Shanghai stocks have declined 3.32 percent this month. <^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ China stock market graphics suite http://reut.rs/1NfkoGl ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^> (Reporting by Andrew Galbraith Editing by Darren Schuettler) ((Andrew.Galbraith@tr.com; +86 21 6104 1779; Reuters Messaging: andrew.galbraith.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net ; Twitter: https://twitter.com/apgalbraith))
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