China stocks end higher as consumer shares lend support
Friday, August 14, 2020       14:56 WIB

SHANGHAI, Aug 14 (Reuters) - China stocks ended higher on Friday, bolstered by gains for consumer firms, as weak consumption data reinforced expectations that Beijing will take more measures to boost domestic demand.
The blue-chip CSI300 index rose 1.5%, to 4,704.63, while the Shanghai Composite Index closed up 1.2% at 3,360.10
The tech-heavy start-up board ChiNext added 1.8%, while the newly launched 50 index climbed 1.1%
Leading the gains, the CSI300 consumer staples index ended up 1.9%, having gained 43% this year
China's retail sales slipped in July, dashing expectations for a modest rise, as consumers in the world's second-largest economy failed to shake off wariness about the coronavirus, while the factory sector's recovery struggled to pick up pace
"Despite narrowing declines in investment, consumption remained weak, highlighting the lasting economic shock from the coronavirus pandemic," said Zhang Yi, chief economist at Zhonghai Shengrong Capital Management
The weak data increased expectations that Beijing will continue to roll out more measures to help spur consumption
"We are bullish about China. We now focus on our 'core investments', including consumer and health care firms which benefit from China's vast domestic demand given the country's huge population," said Xiao Shuai, chairman of Hunan-based Xin Yu Ruoxi Investment Management
For the week, CSI300 slipped 0.1%, SSEC added 0.2%, while start-up index and 50 index dropped 2.9% and 2.8%, respectively, as rising Sino-U.S. tensions dented sentiment
Investors await a meeting between top U.S. and Chinese trade officials on Saturday to review the first six months of their Phase 1 trade deal
Market participants also attributed the recent weakness in tech firms to a shift away from companies with high valuations
Investors now prefer to seek opportunities in cheap stocks with safety margin including those in traditional industries, said Xia Tian, managing director at Shanghai-based asset management firm Minvest (Reporting by Reporting by Luoyan Liu and Andrew Galbraith; editing by Jason Neely)

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