China stocks end higher to post weekly gains on upbeat data

SHANGHAI, Nov 27 (Reuters) - China stocks rose on Friday to post weekly gains, as upbeat profits from industrial firms pointed to a continued recovery in the world’s second largest economy amid the coronavirus outbreak.

** The blue-chip CSI300 index rose 1.2% to 4,980.77, a touch below the over five-year high of 5,029.65 hit on Monday, while the Shanghai Composite Index climbed 1.1% to 3,408.31.

** For the week, CSI300 gained 0.8%, while SSEC added 0.9%.

** October profits at Chinese industrial firms rose 28.2% to 642.91 billion yuan ($97.79 billion) compared with a year earlier, official data showed on Friday, pointing to a steady recovery in the manufacturing sector after it was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

** China’s factory activity likely expanded at a slightly faster pace in November, a Reuters poll showed on Friday.

** For 2021, China’s real GDP growth is forecast to grow by 8.2% y/y, Wendy Liu, head of China Strategy at UBS Global Research, wrote in a report.

** UBS has set a target of 5,450 and 6,300 at end-2021 and end-2022, respectively, for the blue-chip CSI300 index, adding mainland households could raise exposure to onshore equities in the next two years.

** Though analysts said bond defaults and Sino-U.S. tensions would continue to weigh on the market.

** The Trump administration is close to declaring that 89 Chinese aerospace and other companies have military ties, restricting them from buying a range of U.S. goods and technology, according to a draft copy of the list seen by Reuters.

** There is still some lingering concern about the recent surprise SOE bond defaults, while the U.S. list could impact investor sentiment negatively if published, Morgan Stanley analysts noted in a report.

** A spurt of missed debt repayments by three Chinese state-owned firms - a coal miner, a chipmaker and an automobile company - has shaken local markets and heightened speculation that a campaign to wean the economy off heavy credit is back. (Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)