April 24, 2018 / 7:38 AM / a year ago

China stocks post best gains in 2 months as Beijing vows to hit economic targets

* SSEC 2.0 pct, CSI300 2.0 pct

* HK->Shanghai Connect daily quota used 18.7 pct, Shanghai->HK daily quota used 12.5 pct

* FTSE China A50 +2.2 pct, BNY Mellon ADR China Select Index +0.0 pct

SHANGHAI, April 24 (Reuters) - China stocks posted their strongest gains in two months on Tuesday as the Communist Party declared its determination to achieve this year’s economic targets in the face of rising global trade tensions.

A faltering in exports could push authorities to shift policy from a slight tightening bias to a looser stance, or even a return to their old playbook of growth-boosting measures, economists say.

The blue-chip CSI300 index ended up 2.0 percent at 3,843.49 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index also climbed 2 percent to 3,128.93. Both indexes logged their best daily gain since Feb. 22.

The real estate and consumer sectors rose 3.9 percent and 3.1 percent, respectively, leading an across-the-board rally.

Tech firms also shone with a 3.1 percent rise, as Beijing pledged to step-up efforts to make breakthroughs in key technologies to support emerging industries.

State media on Monday reported that the Communist Party’s politburo, its top decision-making body, reiterated pledges to open up the economy and deepen the reform of state-owned firms and assets.

“As China’s government has vowed to increase domestic demand and maintain healthy development of the credit, equity, bond, forex and property markets, Chinese investors who expected an economic downturn caused by policy tightening could start to revise up their forecasts,” Gao Ting, Head of China Strategy at UBS Securities, said in a report.

“Despite loose liquidity conditions, with risk appetite still subdued by ongoing trade conflicts, investors may take a more balanced approach, meaning cyclical, consumer and financial stocks will likely outperform growth stocks,” Gao added.

Concerns that Chinese authorities may slow their crackdown on excessive financial risks and debt were boosted last Tuesday when China’s central bank unexpectedly reduced the amount of cash that banks must keep in reserves.

On Thursday, China’s state planner said it aims to cut commercial and industrial electricity prices by an average of 10 percent. While Beijing has pledged for years to reduce corporate costs, the size and timing of the cut again surprised financial markets.

“We expect more positive marginal changes in policies, as the politburo meeting indicated Beijing’s rising worries over short-term economic growth amid an increasingly complex global economic and political backdrop,” Qin Peijing, analyst with CITIC Securities, said in a note. (Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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