China shares extend gains as investors hold out for recovery

Credit: REUTERS/Aly Song

China stocks on Wednesday ended higher for the fourth straight session, as investors clung to hopes of a post-pandemic recovery in the world's second-largest economy while the heavyweight services sector continued to expand.

Shanghai shares add 0.2%, blue-chips up 0.03%

Consumption, tech shares up, financials lag

Central bank adviser sees 2% full-year growth

HONG KONG, Aug 5 (Reuters) - China stocks on Wednesday ended higher for the fourth straight session, as investors clung to hopes of a post-pandemic recovery in the world's second-largest economy while the heavyweight services sector continued to expand.

** The Shanghai Composite index .SSEC closed up 0.2% at 3,377.56.

** The blue-chip CSI300 index .CSI300 edged up 0.03%, the consumer staples sub-index .CSI000912 gained 0.6% and consumer discretionary shares .CSI000911 added 0.3%.

** The smaller Shenzhen index .SZSC rose 0.8% and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index .CNT gained almost 1%. The tech-focused STAR 50 .STAR50 climbed 1.4%.

** Growth in China's services sector slowed in July from a decade high the previous month, but remained in expansion territory, an industry survey showed on Wednesday. The sector accounts for about 60% of the economy.

** Central bank adviser Ma Jun told local media there is no need to step up counter-cyclical adjustments in monetary policy as an economic recovery is well under way, forecasting 2% growth for 2020.

** Financial sector stocks .CSI300FS, which rallied on cheap valuations on Tuesday, fell 1.2%.

** "But people are still buying into China consumption, the big caps are doing okay today. The mood in the market is overall positive," said Alex Wong, director at Ample Finance Group.

** Senior U.S. and Chinese officials will review the implementation of their Phase 1 trade deal on Aug. 15. Beijing's top U.S. envoy said it does not want further tensions.

** Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index .MIAPJ0000PUS firmed 0.6%, while Japan's Nikkei index .N225 fell 0.3%.

** The yuan CNY=CFXS jumped to a near 5-month high against a lacklustre U.S. dollar, trading at 6.9535 per dollar at 0708 GMT. CNY/

** The Shanghai stock index is up 10.7% and the CSI300 has risen 16.6% this year. Shanghai stocks have risen 2% this month.

** About 38.58 billion shares were traded on the Shanghai exchange, down from the previous session's 44.23 billion.

(Reporting by Noah Sin, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

((Noah.Sin@thomsonreuters.com; +852 5202 7991; Reuters Messaging: noah.sin.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net; Twitter: https://twitter.com/noah_sin))

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