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China shares end higher on gains in consumer, healthcare stocks

* SSEC 0.5%, CSI300 0.8%

* HK->Shanghai Connect daily quota used 2.7%, Shanghai->HK daily quota used 14.1%

* FTSE China A50 +0.7%

BEIJING/SHANGHAI, Oct 28 (Reuters) - China shares ended higher for a second consecutive day on Wednesday, as consumers and healthcare stocks gained amid hopes of further economic recovery from the pandemic. ** At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was up 0.46% at 3,269.24. ** The blue-chip CSI300 index was up 0.81%, with its consumer staples sector 2.24% higher, and the healthcare sub-index rose 1.13%. ** The smaller Shenzhen index ended up 0.89%,the start-up board ChiNext Composite index increased 0.74%, and Shanghai’s tech-focused STAR50 index jumped 1.47%. ** Mainland shares are accumulating momentum this week as investors are expecting further economic recovery and new listings of fintech shares such as Alibaba’s Ant Group , said Yang Delong, investment manager at First Seafront Fund Management Co. ** A Reuters poll forecast China’s fourth-quarter GDP rising 5.8% year-on-year, up from 4.9% reported in the July-September period as economic recovery accelerated in the third quarter after consumers shook off their coronavirus caution. ** Investors are also fishing for food and beverage stocks sold in previous sessions due to lower-than-expected quarterly results, according to Yang. ** But market’s liquidity will be tested by the upcoming blockbuster Ant IPO and investors are likely to lock in more profits from blue-chip property and financial shares, said Zhang Qi, analyst with Haitong Securities Co. ** Investors shrugged off news of a resurgence in coronavirus infections in the northwestern Xinjiang region. China reported 42 new COVID-19 cases on Oct. 27, the highest daily toll in more than two months. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.14%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 0.29%.

Reporting by Cheng Leng in Beijing, Luoyan Liu and Andrew Galbraith in Shanghai; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri

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