January 19, 2018 / 4:30 AM / a year ago

China stocks scale 2-year highs after solid GDP; Hong Kong at new peak

* SSEC +0.4 pct, CSI300 +0.5 pct, HSI +0.1 pct

* China’s 2017 GDP growth accelerates for first time in 7 years

* China home prices edge up in December, annual growth rate slumps

SHANGHAI, Jan 19 (Reuters) - China stocks reached fresh two-year highs on Friday morning, as banks extended gains and after the country posted its first acceleration in full-year growth in seven years in 2017.

** China’s economy grew faster than expected in the fourth quarter of 2017 underpinned by an export recovery, defying concerns that intensifying curbs on industry and credit would hurt expansion. Growth for the 2017 full-year picked up to 6.9 percent, the first annual acceleration for the economy since 2010. The annual growth easily beat the government’s 2017 target of around 6.5 percent and quickened from 6.7 percent in 2016, the weakest pace in 26 years. ** At 04:05 GMT, the Shanghai Composite index was up 12.49 points or 0.36 percent at 3,487.24. ** China’s blue-chip CSI300 index was up 0.46 percent, with its financial sector sub-index higher by 0.93 percent, the consumer staples sector down 0.2 percent, the real estate index up 0.57 percent and healthcare sub-index up 0.18 percent. ** Chinese H-shares listed in Hong Kong rose 0.36 percent to 13,142.64, while the Hang Seng Index was up 0.1 percent at 32,154.21. ** The smaller Shenzhen index was up 0.1 percent and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was weaker by 0.07 percent. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.39 percent while Japan’s Nikkei index was up 0.04 percent. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.3941 per U.S. dollar, 0.37 percent firmer than the previous close of 6.418. ** The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were Ningbo Yunsheng Co Ltd up 10 percent, followed by Guizhou Wire Rope Co Ltd gaining 9.99 percent and Triumph Science & Technology Co Ltd up by 9.96 percent. ** The largest percentage losses in the Shanghai index were Zhongyuan Union Cell & Gene Engineering Corp Ltd down 9.82 percent, followed by China Petroleum Engineering Corp losing 7.28 percent and Jiangsu Protruly Vision Technology Group Co Ltd down by 4.93 percent. ** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is up 5.07 percent, while China’s H-share index is up 11.8 percent. Shanghai stocks have risen 5.07 percent this month. ** The top gainers among H-shares were China Vanke Co Ltd up 3.67 percent, followed by Anhui Conch Cement Co Ltd gaining 3.35 percent and Air China Ltd up by 2.91 percent. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were New China Life Insurance Co Ltd which has fallen 3.02 percent, China Life Insurance Co Ltd which has lost 1.3 percent and PetroChina Co Ltd down by 1.2 percent. ** About 14.30 billion shares have traded so far on the Shanghai exchange, roughly 85.1 percent of the market’s 30-day moving average of 16.80 billion shares a day. The volume traded was 22.00 billion as of the last full trading day. ** As of 04:05 GMT, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 28.93 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. ** The Shanghai stock index is above its 50-day moving average and above its 200-day moving average. ** The price-to-earnings ratio of the Shanghai index was 15.76 as of the last full trading day while the dividend yield was 1.8 percent. ** So far this week, the market capitalisation of the Shanghai stock index has risen by 1.39 percent to 30.52 trillion yuan. ** In Hong Kong, the sub-index of the Hang Seng index tracking energy shares dipped 0.2 percent while the IT sector rose 0.7 percent. The top gainer on Hang Seng was China Resources Land Ltd up 7.21 percent, while the biggest loser was Hengan International Group Company Ltd which was down 3.44 percent.

Reporting by Luoyan Liu and John Ruwitch; Editing by Jacqueline Wong

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