China stocks close higher as banking, energy firms climb

SHANGHAI, June 22 (Reuters) - China stocks ended higher on Tuesday, as banking stocks gained after Beijing’s reform measures and energy stocks were lifted by higher oil prices.

** However, weakness in digital currency-related firms due to regulatory curbs capped gains in the region.

** The blue-chip CSI300 index rose 0.6% to 5,122.16, while the Shanghai Composite Index closed up 0.8% at 3,557.41.

** Leading gains, the CSI300 banks index rose 1.6% as investors cheered the government’s latest reform measures for the sector, while the CSI300 energy index climbed 2.3% on oil strength.

** China’s reforms to the way banks calculate deposit rates will help ease pressure on banks’ funding costs, although the impact on lenders and depositors will be limited, an industry body overseeing rates said on Monday.

** From Monday, China allowed banks to set ceilings on deposit rates by adding basis points to the benchmark rate, a shift from the previous practice of multiplying the benchmark rate, the Self-Disciplinary Mechanism for the Pricing of Market-Oriented Interest Rates said.

** Dual-listed energy giant Petrochina Co Ltd rose 5.3% and 5.9% in Shanghai and Hong Kong, respectively.

** China’s central bank said on Monday it had recently summoned some banks and payment firms, including China Construction Bank and Alipay, urging them to crack down harder on cryptocurrency trading.

** That weighed on blockchain-related firms — Client Service International Inc, Beijing Philisense Technology Co Ltd and Verisilicon Microelectronics Shanghai Co Ltd — which fell between 3.8% and 5.9%.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was gained 0.14% and Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 3.12%.

** At 0715 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 6.4717 per U.S. dollar, 0.1% weaker than the previous close of 6.4653. (Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)