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China shares rise as consumer firms regain footing

* Shanghai stocks +0.78%, blue-chip CSI300 +0.87%

* Consumer staples up 2.05%, financials gain 1.21%

* China’s A-shares at a 34.72% premium over H-shares

SHANGHAI, March 16 (Reuters) - Chinese shares finished higher on Tuesday, edging up from the previous day’s slump as consumer and financial firms recovered, but broader gains were limited by investor wariness over possible policy tightening. ** At the close, the blue-chip CSI300 index was up 0.87%, after slumping more than 2% on Monday. The Shanghai Composite index was up 0.78% at 3,446.73. ** The consumer staples sector rose 2.05% after falling 2.2% a day earlier. The financial sector subindex rose 1.21%, real estate firms jumped 3.73% and the healthcare subindex added 0.96%. ** But with a conservative economic growth target this year widely viewed as giving regulators more room to cut back on pandemic-era stimulus, market players see little room for a strong rally. ** “We are in this vortex... a vacuum of any catalyst that actually means anything directional or sentiment-wise to the market,” said Andy Maynard, head of equities at China Renaissance in Hong Kong. “Without a catalyst... we’re not going anywhere. In fact, we’re just going to probably drift lower.” ** The smaller Shenzhen index ended up 1% and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index rose 1.06%. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.72%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed 0.52% higher. ** At 0700 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 6.4986 per U.S. dollar, 0.03% firmer than the previous close of 6.5006. ** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is down 0.8% and the CSI300 has fallen 2.5%, while China’s H-share index listed in Hong Kong is up 5.5%. Shanghai stocks have declined 1.78% this month. ** As of 0701 GMT, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 34.72% over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares.

Reporting by Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Devika Syamnath

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