SHANGHAI: Shares in China ended higher on Friday amid news that China’s top trade negotiator may visit Washington this month, boosting optimism about a resolution to the Sino-U.S. trade war. However, concerns about a slowing economy continued to weigh on investor sentiments.
The Shanghai Composite index settled 0.74 percent higher at 2,553.83, while the blue-chip CSI300 index advanced 0.72 percent.
The smaller Shenzhen index gained 0.76 percent and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index crept 0.204 percent higher.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced on Thursday that Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will ”most likely” visit the U.S. capital later in January for trade talks. U.S. President Donald Trump said his country is ”having tremendous success with China” in trade negotiations.
China plans to set a lower economic growth target of 6-6.5 percent in 2019 compared with last year’s target of ”around” 6.5 percent, policy sources told Reuters, as Beijing gears up to cope with higher U.S. tariffs and weakening domestic demand.
Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index firmed 0.3 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 0.97 percent.
At 07:18 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 6.7524 per U.S. dollar, 0.54 percent firmer than the previous close of 6.789.
The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were Wintime Energy Co Ltd, up 10.13 percent, followed by Henan Zhongfu Industrial Co Ltd, gaining 10.1 percent and Ningxia Jiaze Renewables Corp Ltd, up by 10.08 percent.
The largest percentage losers in the Shanghai index were Shanghai Guangdian Electric Group Co Ltd, down 10.09 percent, followed by Zhongchang Big Data Corp Ltd that lost 10.01 percent, and Jinzhou Port Co Ltd, down 9.16 percent.
So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is up 2.4 percent and the CSI300 has risen 2.8 percent, while China’s H-share index listed in Hong Kong is up 3.2 percent.
About 14.94 billion shares were traded on the Shanghai exchange, roughly 109.1 percent of the market’s 30-day moving average of 13.69 billion shares a day. The volume in the previous trading session was 15.99 billion. - Reuters