January 17, 2020 / 4:43 AM / a month ago

China stocks firm after GDP data, Hong Kong flat

* SSEC 0.1%, CSI300 0.2%, HSI 0.0%

* HK->Shanghai Connect daily quota used 3.1%, Shanghai->HK daily quota used 1%

* FTSE China A50 +0.2%

SHANGHAI, Jan 17(Reuters) - China stocks rose on Friday, as investors cheered more signs of resilience in the world’s second-largest economy, with risk appetite also getting a boost from the signing of the Sino-U.S. trade deal.

** The CSI300 index rose 0.2% to 4,156.21 points at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.1% to 3,076.90.

** China’s economic growth slowed to its weakest in nearly 30 years in 2019 amid the bruising trade war and sputtering investment, and more stimulus steps are expected this year to help avert a sharper slowdown.

** But data on Friday also showed the world’s second-largest economy ended the year on a firmer note as trade tensions eased, suggesting a raft of growth-boosting measures over the past two years may finally be starting to take hold.

** Analysts and investors believe more signs of modest recovery in China’s economy would help bolster confidence in capital markets.

** The signing of the Phase 1 Sino-U.S. trade deal also helped provide support.

** Now with at least a deal in place, investors and consumers would feel things have stabilized, thus helping shore up confidence, said Fan Lei, an economist with Sealand Securities.

** Some argue market participants should now turn their attention more to China’s economic trend and the extent of its internal reforms.

** The trade deal was quite expected, while trade tensions between China and the United States have actually become a secondary factor in China’s stock market, unless there is a sudden sharp deterioration in the future, said Zhou Longgang, an analyst with Huachuang Securities.

** In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index was unchanged at 28,870.29, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index was flat at 11,331.54.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.09% while Japan’s Nikkei index was up 0.47%.

** The yuan was quoted at 6.8698 per U.S. dollar, 0.15% firmer than the previous close of 6.88. (Reporting by Luoyan Liu and Brenda Goh; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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