China shares gain; strong inflows seen through Stock Connect

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SHANGHAI, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Chinese stock indexes rose on a boost from healthcare and tech shares on Friday, a day after their biggest drop in a month as Russian forces invaded Ukraine.

** At the midday break, the Shanghai Composite index (.SSEC) was up 0.54% at 3,448.35 points.

** China's blue-chip CSI300 index (.CSI300) rose 0.78%, with the consumer staples sector (.CSI000912) gaining 0.82%, info tech shares (.CSIINT) climbing 1% and the healthcare sub-index (.CSI300HC) adding 3.14%.

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** Gains in the CSI300 were led by battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL) (300750.SZ), up 3.6%, and distiller Kweichow Moutai (600519.SS), which was 1.3% higher.

** CATL's gains pushed the CSI New Energy Vehicle index (.CSI399976) up 1.96%.

** "The recent correction in the new energy sector is quite adequate and the mid- and long-term fundamentals remain bullish," said Zhang Yanbing, an analyst with Zheshang Securities.

** CATL and Moutai are among top four most-traded securities through the Stock Connect programme linking mainland markets to global investors through Hong Kong, according to HKEx data.

** Inflows through the Northbound leg of Stock Connect on Friday morning totaled 7.26 billion yuan ($1.15 billion), according to Refinitiv data. (.NQUOTA.SH), (.NQUOTA.ZK)

** Underscoring continued efforts to stabilise slowing growth, China's central bank made the biggest weekly cash injection in more than two years this week to maintain stable liquidity conditions towards the month-end.

** The smaller Shenzhen index (.SZSC) was up 1.02%, the start-up board ChiNext Composite index (.CNT) was higher by 2.18% and Shanghai's tech-focused STAR50 index (.STAR50) was up 2.02%​.

** In Hong Kong the Hang Seng Index (.HSI) was down 0.14% at 22,868.76 and Chinese H-shares (.HSCE) rose 0.08% to 8,036.94.

** HSBC Holdings slumped 3.12% as investors continue to weigh the impact on banks of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

** Still, a growing number of Chinese firms with business in Ukraine or Russia say the impact from the region's crisis is limited for now, as some sought to reassure investors, with the scale of Chinese investment in the region limited and dominated by state firms. read more

** Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index (.MIAPJ0000PUS) was firmer by 0.80% while Japan's Nikkei index (.N225) was up 1.58%.

** The yuan was quoted at 6.317 per U.S. dollar, 0.2% firmer than the previous close of 6.3299.

($1 = 6.3142 Chinese yuan)

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Reporting by Andrew Galbraith; editing by Uttaresh.V

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.