China's blue-chip index closes at 8-month high on trade deal optimism

SHANGHAI, Dec 17 (Reuters) - China stocks extended gains into a third session on Tuesday, with the blue-chip index posting an eight-month closing high, boosted by an interim China-U.S. trade deal which helped temper a key external risk to its financial markets.

** The blue-chip CSI300 index rose 1.4%, to 4,041.80, the highest close since April 19, while the Shanghai Composite Index rallied 1.3% to 3,022.42.

** The “phase one” trade deal between Washington and Beijing has been “absolutely completed,” a top White House adviser said on Monday, adding that U.S. exports to China would double under the agreement.

** The deal announced on Friday will reduce some U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods in exchange for increased Chinese purchases of U.S. agricultural, manufactured and energy products by some $200 billion over the next two years.

** Sentiment was also aided by a host of recent data pointing to resilience in the world’s second-largest economy.

** In a fresh sign that Beijing will continue to support the economy with fiscal stimulus, the state planner said on Tuesday it approved eight fixed-asset investment projects in November worth a combined 7.1 billion yuan.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.93%, while Japan’s Nikkei index was up 0.47%.

** The yuan was quoted at 7.0016 per U.S. dollar, 0.1% weaker than the previous close of 6.9949.

** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is up 19.67%, while China’s H-share index is up 6.5%. Shanghai stocks have risen 3.91% this month.

** About 29.30 billion shares have traded so far on the Shanghai exchange, roughly 197.8% of the market’s 30-day moving average of 14.82 billion shares a day. The volume traded was 21.19 billion as of the last full trading day.

** As of 07:21 GMT, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 26.82% over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. (Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)