SHANGHAI, March 21 China stocks closed slightly
higher on Tuesday, but investors' risk appetite was restrained
amid growing signs of tighter liquidity in the banking system.
The blue-chip CSI300 index rose 0.5 percent, to
3,466.35 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index
added 0.3 percent to 3,261.61 points.
China's central bank should clarify its new short-term
policy rate and the target rate level as soon as possible, a
central bank working paper said, as authorities in the world's
second-largest economy slowly shift to a tightening bias.
China's seven-day repo rate hit a nine-month
high on Friday on a volume-weighted average basis.
Infrastructure stocks rallied, aided by news the
country expects positive moves to signing up Australia for its
New Silk Road initiative when Premier Li Keqiang visits this
The plan is a signature foreign and economic policy of
Chinese President Xi Jinping, envisioning massive infrastructure
spending to link China to Asia and beyond.
Banks continued to drag on the market, as those
lenders in 2016 likely posted their lowest interest margins
since the global financial crisis, due to higher costs and fewer
lucrative lending options.
Gains were led by consumer stocks, in particular
heavyweight liquor makers, as investors continued to buy into
the sector, which is expected to benefit from industry recovery
and higher market concentration.
Shares in China Shenhua, the country's largest
coal miner, shot up 8.4 percent to a fresh 19-month high, after
the company announced a spectacular dividend payment proposal.
(Reporting by Luoyan Liu and John Ruwitch; Editing by