China stocks extend gains, lifted by property and logistics

SHANGHAI, Nov 19 (Reuters) - China shares extended gains and ended higher on Friday, thanks largely to sharp rises in the property and logistics shares.

** At the close, the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index was up 1.13% at 3,560.37 points, while the blue-chip CSI 300 index rose 1.1%, to 4,890.06 points.

** Strength in the Chinese shares on Friday afternoon was led by gains in the property sector, with the real estate index jumping 4.88% at the close, as some market participants were discussing possible policy easing for the battered property industry.

** China’s property sector, a major driver of economic growth, has weakened sharply this year as Beijing cracks down on speculation to lower financial risks.

** “There has also been selective relaxation in housing loans at a localized level. However, so far these measures are rather piecemeal and with clear priority of stabilizing the property sector and supporting the SMEs under macro weakness,” Morgan Stanley said in its 2022 China equity strategy outlook.

“Equity market is naturally not going to benefit from these measures meaningfully at this point.”

** The logistic sector was among the other top gainers, with the CSI 300 transportation index up by 1.72% after some companies including STO Express and Yunda Holdings reported robust revenue gains in October.

** The smaller Shenzhen index ended up 1.19% and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was higher by 1.04%.

** However, some analysts said market participants were wary of any future developments in Sino-U.S. relations after top leaders from the two countries held a virtual meeting earlier this week. U.S. President Joe Biden said on Thursday the United States was considering a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics. (Reporting by Winni Zhou; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)