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

Mon 27th August, 2018 6:37am
* SSEC +1.4 pct, CSI300 +1.9 pct, HSI +2.1 pct * China cenbank revives "counter-cyclical factor" for yuan fixing * Airline shares rally on stronger yuan SHANGHAI, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Shares in China reached their highest levels in two weeks on Monday, buoyed by a stronger yuan after the central bank moved to keep the currency market stable, boosting airline stocks and other firms with heavy dollar exposure. The Shanghai Composite index .SSEC was up 1.7 percent to 2,776.08 in early afternoon trade. China's blue-chip CSI300 index .CSI300 was up 2.2 percent, while the financial sector sub-index .CSI300FS rose 1.3 percent. The consumer staples sector gained 3.3 percent, while the real estate index was up 3.3 percent and healthcare sub-index rose 3.9 percent. Chinese H-shares listed in Hong Kong .HSCE rose 2.5 percent at 11,071.01, while the Hang Seng Index .HSI was up 2 percent at 28,222.35. 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 6.8143 per U.S. dollar, 47 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 3.8 percent. The smaller Shenzhen index .SZSC rose 2.3 percent and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index .CHINEXTP was higher by 2.9 percent. Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index .MIAPJ0000PUS was firmer by 1.1 percent while Japan's Nikkei index .N225 was up 1 percent. 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 At midday, the largest percentage gainers on the main Shanghai Composite index included CIG ShangHai Co Ltd 603083.SS , up 10.02 percent, followed by Olympic Circuit Technology Co Ltd 603920.SS , rising 10.02 percent, and SEC Electric Machinery Co Ltd 603988.SS with a 10 percent gain. Shanghai's largest percentage losses were Gansu Gangtai Holding Group Co Ltd 600687.SS , down 10.07 percent, followed by Xingjiang Korla Pear Co Ltd 600506.SS , off 9.96 percent, and Anxin Trust Co Ltd 600816.SS down by 7.36 percent. The Shanghai index is down 17.47 percent so far this year, while China's H-share index is off by 7.9 percent. Shanghai stocks have declined 5.11 percent this month. The top gainers among H-shares at midday included Guangzhou Automobile Group Co Ltd 2238.HK , up 7.35 percent, followed by Dongfeng Motor Group Co Ltd 0489.HK , gaining 5.46 percent, and China Resources Land Ltd 1109.HK , up by 4.99 percent. Declining H-shares were led by China Shenhua Energy Co Ltd 1088.HK , down 0.47 percent, Guangdong Investment Ltd 0270.HK , off 0.4 percent, and ZhongAn Online P & C Insurance Co Ltd 6060.HK , down by 0.1 percent. Some 6.96 billion shares have traded so far on the Shanghai exchange on Monday, roughly 52.1 percent of the market's 30-day moving average of 13.35 billion shares a day. The volume traded on the last full trading day was 10.05 billion shares. As of 04:51 GMT, China's A-shares were trading at a premium of 16.81 percent over Hong Kong-listed H-shares. In Hong Kong, the sub-index of the Hang Seng index tracking energy shares .HSCIE rose 2.7 percent while the IT sector .HSCIIT was up 1.7 percent. The top gainer on the Hang Seng was Sunny Optical Technology Group Co Ltd 2382.HK , up 6.68 percent, while China Shenhua Energy Co Ltd 1088.HK led declines with a loss of 0.47 percent. <^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ 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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