SHANGHAI, June 19 (Reuters) - China stocks rose on Friday to finish the week higher, led by gains on the start-up board, as investors cheered Beijing’s pledge for reforms and liquidity support to bolster the world’s second-largest economy.
** The Shanghai Composite index closed up 0.96% at 2,967.63, while the blue-chip CSI300 index ended 1.34% higher.
** Shenzhen’s start-up board ChiNext gained 2.4% to a more than four-year high, as regulators revamped its listing system.
** For the week, SSEC gained 1.6%, while CSI300 advanced 2.4%. The start-up board index climbed 5.1%, posting its best week in four months.
** Chinese policymakers pledged that the government would maintain ample liquidity in the financial system in the second half of the year, pushing investors to look past a threat from U.S. President Donald Trump about cutting ties with China.
** Risk appetite also improved after the chief epidemiologist of China’s Center for Diseases Prevention and Control said that the outbreak in Beijing had been brought under control.
** Unlike the U.S. or Europe, where many are defiant of pandemic restrictions, “China has a different set of political system that ensures much stronger control of the society. So don’t worry,” said Fan Jianping, hedge fund manager at Shanghai Anything Investment Co.
** Global index publisher FTSE Russels’ plan to complete the final stage of its Phase I China A-share inclusion on Friday also helped the sentiment. Yuekai Securities expects it will attract about $3.6 billion of foreign inflows.
** Investors bought a net 21 billion yuan worth of A-shares via the Stock Connect linking Hong Kong and mainland, according to Refinitiv data.
** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.53%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 0.55%.
** At 0707 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 7.0749 per U.S. dollar, 0.19% firmer than the previous close of 7.0883. (Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Rashmi Aich)