July 1, 2019 / 7:51 AM / 3 months ago

China shares end at more than 2-month high on trade truce relief

* Shanghai Composite +2.88%, CSI300 +3.46%

* Highest closes for major indexes since late April

* Yuan strengthens on hopes of trade deal

SHANGHAI, July 1 (Reuters) - Chinese shares ended at their highest level in more than two months on Monday, propelled by hopes of an end to the U.S.-China trade war after the two countries agreed to restart negotiations and Washington said it would postpone further tariffs.

While there were no signs of progress on key sticking points in the trade dispute, the promise of more talks and concessions offered by U.S. President Donald Trump, including an easing of restrictions on tech company Huawei, lifted the benchmark Shanghai Composite index 2.22% to 3,044.90 points.

It was the highest close for the index since April 30.

The blue-chip CSI300 index jumped 2.88% to its highest close since April 25, despite fresh signs of domestic economic weakness in factory activity surveys.

The smaller Shenzhen index rose 3.46% by the close, and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index added 3.75%. Hong Kong markets were closed for a holiday.

About 25.08 billion shares were traded on the Shanghai exchange, more than 120% of the market’s 30-day moving average of 20.82 billion shares a day, and 38% higher than Friday’s total of 18.14 billion shares.

“We believe the results achieved at the G20 summit will help to further boost investor sentiment and enthusiasm, and we expect the market rebound to continue,” Yan Xiang, an analyst at Guosen Securities, said in a research note.

“Looking at the mid-to-long term, we suggest investors pay closer attention to changes in listed companies’ mid-year reports.”

After meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Osaka on Saturday, Trump said China had agreed to make unspecified new purchases of U.S. farm products and return to the negotiating table.

But while Trump said the talks are “back on track”, existing tariffs remain in place and the meeting produced no deadline for progress on a deal.

Information technology firms led the gains, with suppliers to Huawei Technologies Co surging after Trump said the U.S. Commerce Department would study in the next few days whether to take Huawei off the list of firms banned from buying components and technology from U.S. companies without government approval.

Shenzhen Goodix Technology Co., Ltd soared 9.51% and Shennan Circuits Co Ltd finished 5.69% higher.

A sub-index tracking IT firms jumped 5.66% and one tracking telecoms companies added 4.22%.

Rare earth producers bucked the broader rally, after gaining in the recent weeks when trade war tensions had intensified.

Xi had visited a rare earth firm in southern China in May, fuelling speculation that China could cut off supplies of the metals, a key ingredient in high-technology consumer electronics and military equipment, to the United States as part of the trade war.

JL MAG Rare-Earth Co Ltd, which hosted Xi in May, fell 3.51%.

Broader market gains came despite further signs of weakness in China’s manufacturing sector, with both private and official activity surveys pointing to contraction last month.

On Monday, the Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for June came in at 49.4, its worst level since January and below expectations.

That followed a worse-than-expected reading in the country’s official manufacturing survey, released on Sunday.

“The latest survey data suggest that China’s economy is coming under renewed pressure as a result of cooling foreign demand and waning fiscal support, which should trigger further monetary easing,” Capital Economics said in a note.

China’s yuan also gained on the trade ceasefire, with spot yuan quoted at 6.8433 per U.S. dollar at 0733 GMT, 0.32% firmer than the previous close of 6.865. Its offshore counterpart was trading at 6.8458 per dollar. (Reporting by Andrew Galbraith; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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