HONG KONG Aug 4 (Reuters) - China shares closed at their highest in 7-1/2 months on Monday, boosted by positive comments about the market from the country's top securities regulator, with financial and coal firms leading gains.
A China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) spokesman on Friday described the recent rally in China's stock market as a "rebound" due to improving performance in the economy, more liquidity, and market reforms, including the planned Shanghai-Hong Kong stock market connector pilot programme.
The Shanghai Composite Index ended up 1.7 percent at 2,223.33 points, the highest close since Dec. 10. The CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings climbed 2.0 percent to finish at its highest since Dec. 13.
CITIC Securities jumped 6.1 percent and Haitong Securities 4.3 percent, encouraged by comments from the CSRC spokesman who said the regulator would continue to support the innovative business development of brokerages.
China Shenhua Energy rose 2.6 percent to the year's highest level. The mainland's biggest coal producer raised prices of steam coal on Friday after cutting prices seven times within less than two months, according to a report from China Business News.
Some smaller coal firms surged over 5 percent, with others even hitting the maximum allowed 10 percent daily limit.
(Reporting by Grace Li; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)