China stocks end higher on upbeat data, trade bloc

SHANGHAI, Nov 16 (Reuters) - China stocks ended higher on Monday after upbeat data pointed to a continued recovery in the world’s second-largest economy, with the establishment of a China-backed trade bloc aiding sentiment.

** The blue-chip CSI300 index rose 1.0%, to 4,904.17, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 1.1% to 3,346.97 points.

** The tech-heavy start-up board ChiNext added 0.2%, while the Shanghai STAR50 index rose 0.7%.

** China’s factory output rose faster-than-expected in October and retail sales continued to recover although at a slower-than-forecast pace.

** Property investment was a key driver of broader spending, with October real estate investment up 12.7% from a year earlier, the fastest pace since July 2018 and quickening from 12% seen in September, according to Reuters calculations based on NBS data.

** Materials firms led the gains on Monday, with the CSI300 materials index rising 3.8%. The index has gained 31% so far this year.

** Investors also welcomed the establishment of a China-backed trade bloc that excludes the United States.

** Fifteen Asia-Pacific economies formed the world’s largest free trade bloc on Sunday, which had left a rival Asia-Pacific grouping under President Donald Trump.

** Responding to Washington’s decision to ban U.S. investments in firms tied to the Chinese military, China’s commerce ministry said the U.S. should stop its unreasonable suppression of Chinese firms.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.45%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 2.05%.

** At 0722 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 6.5761 per U.S. dollar, 0.45% firmer than the previous close of 6.606.

** As of 0723 GMT, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 41.05% over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. (Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)