China stocks rise on hopes around stimulus, better ties with U.S.

SHANGHAI, May 27 (Reuters) - China stocks rose on Friday as investors looked ahead to stimulus measures to aid growth, while comments by a U.S. official on China were interpreted by some as positive.

** Both China’s blue chip CSI300 index and the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.2%. But for the week, CSI300 lost 1.9%, while the Shanghai index fell 0.5%.

** The United States will not block China from growing its economy, but wants it to adhere to international rules, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a speech on U.S. strategy toward China.

** “We are not looking for conflict or a new Cold War. To the contrary, we’re determined to avoid both,” he said.

** Blinken’s speech “is generally interpreted to be on the positive side, given extremely low expectations on Sino-U.S. ties,” said Yang Hongxun, an analyst at investment consultancy Shandong Shenguang.

** Profits at China’s industrial firms fell at their fastest pace in two years in April, data showed, but investors expect more market-friendly policies ahead, after Premier Li Keqiang vowed to ensure reasonable growth in the second quarter.

** China’s energy and healthcare stocks both rose more than 1%.

** Banking, tourism and industrial sectors also climbed, but real estate stocks and chipmakers fell.

** However, some investors remain cautious, concerned that China’s zero-COVID policy remains a key drag on the economy.

** “Macroeconomic confidence in China has now deteriorated to the point where what is required is not a loosening around the edges of these broad policy priorities, but wholesale policy U-turns,” wrote Alex Wolf, head of investment strategy, Asia at JPMorgan Private Bank. (Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)