China stocks rally as Middle East conflict fears ease

SHANGHAI, Jan 9 (Reuters) - China stocks ended higher on Thursday, largely erasing losses from the previous session, as tensions in the Middle East mitigated after remarks from the United States and Iran.

** The blue-chip CSI300 index closed 1.3% higher at 4,164.37, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.9% to 3,094.88.

** U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday the United States did not have to respond militarily to Iran’s attack, while Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said its strikes “concluded” Tehran’s retaliation.

** Investors also drew optimism from data showing China’s consumer inflation steadied while factory-gate prices fell at a slower pace in December, giving Beijing room to stay the course on monetary easing as economic growth cools.

** Northbound inflows via the Stock Connect continued to be robust, as foreign investors bought a net of nearly 10 billion yuan ($1.44 billion) worth of A-shares for the day.

** On trade, China’s commerce ministry said Vice Premier Liu He will sign the Phase 1 trade deal in Washington next week.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 1.42%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 2.31%.

** The yuan was quoted at 6.9255 per U.S. dollar, 0.29% firmer than the previous close of 6.9456.

** By 0713 GMT, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 27.49% over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. ($1 = 6.9258 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; editing by Uttaresh.V)