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China stocks notch strong start to year on growth outlook

SHANGHAI, Jan 4 (Reuters) - China stocks kicked off 2021 on a firm note on Monday, after a survey pointing to a continued recovery in the world’s second-largest economy bolstered investor sentiment.

** The blue-chip CSI300 index rose 1.1% to 5,267.72, while the Shanghai Composite Index added 0.9%to 3,502.96.

** The tech-heavy start-up board ended up 3.8%, while the STAR50 index firmed 2.1%.

** China stocks rose to multi-year highs on the last trading day of 2020, as investors cheered a Sino-Europe investment deal and Beijing’s policy support for its capital markets.

** Activity in China’s factory sector rose in December as the economy sustained its recovery to pre-pandemic levels, a business survey showed on Monday, even as higher costs slowed the pace of expansion.

** “We are optimistic about the equities market this year, as the fragility of a global economic recovery means the super-loose liquidity conditions would remain, while China pledges continued and stable policy support for its economy,” analysts at Zhongtai Securities said in a note.

** Analysts at Morgan Stanley reiterated their “overweight” stance on Chinese A-shares, citing an improved possibility of increased weightage in global indices and better cushioning from Sino-U.S. tension uncertainties.

** Bucking the broad rally, banking and real estate stocks retreated as Beijing moved to cap property loans by banks.

** China’s central bank issued a regulation on Thursday to cap property loans by banks, as authorities shift their attention back to debt risks and look to guard against any overlending to the property sector. (Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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