China’s blue-chip stocks end higher on key rate cuts – Markets

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Blue chip Chinese stocks closed higher on Thursday after a set of policy rates and lending criteria were cut to support a slowing economy as investors pinned their hopes on further policy easing by Beijing.

The CSI300 index ended up 0.9% at 4,823.51, while the Shanghai Composite index edged down 0.1% to 3,555.06 points.

The one-year loan prime rate (LPR) was lowered by 10 basis points and the five-year LPR was cut by 5 basis points – the first cut since April 2020.

The LPR cuts were expected after official comments called for more monetary easing to support the wider economy.

The CSI300 banking index rose 2.2%, while consumer staples gained 1.8%.

Property developers pared earlier gains in afternoon trade and ended down 0.5%. Reuters reported that China is drafting nationwide rules to make it easier for developers to access funds from sales still held in escrow accounts, in its move to ease a severe cash crunch in the industry.

Chipmakers fell 1.2% as China’s industry ministry expected tight semiconductor supplies to continue for a relatively long period.

The Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) said it has required companies listed on the Nasdaq-style STAR Market to disclose information related to environment, society and governance (ESG) in their annual reports.

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