China stocks rise as STAR Market shines on ETF approval, upbeat data

SHANGHAI, Sept 14 (Reuters) - China stocks finished higher on Monday with Shanghai’s Nasdaq-style STAR Market leading gains after securities regulator approved the first batch of exchange-traded funds (ETFs), which are expected to draw fresh funds towards the market.

** Analysts said investor sentiment was also supported by recent upbeat economic data, suggesting broad economy was bouncing from the coronavirus shock faster than expected. ** Shanghai’s tech-focused STAR50 index was up 2.7%, while the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was higher by 1.4%. ** China Asset Management Co (ChinaAMC), E Fund Management Co and Huatai-PineBridge Fund Management Co said in separate notes on Friday that they had received regulatory approval to launch ETFs tracking the benchmark STAR50 index.

** The Shanghai Composite index was up 0.57% at 3,278.81. The blue-chip CSI300 index closed 0.51% higher.

** Sentiment was improved by encouraging economic data that showed the world’s second-largest economy was on track recovering from the oronavirus crisis. New home prices in China rose at a slightly faster monthly pace in August, as consumer demand showed signs of picking up.

** Chinese banks extended more new loans in August than expected, while broad credit growth quickened, pointing to continued policy support as the economy recovers from a record coronavirus-induced slump.

** Financial sector climbed up marginally after China has issued new rules to regulate financial holding companies, in its latest move to prevent systematic risks to the nation’s vast financial sector.

** Developments in the Sino-U.S. tensions remained one of the key market focus. Sources told Reuters that ByteDance abandoned the sale of TikTok in the United States on Sunday in pursuit of a partnership with Oracle Corp that it hopes will spare it a U.S. ban while appeasing China’s government.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.47%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 0.65%.

** The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were Zhejiang Orient Financial Holdings Group Co Ltd , up 10.08%, followed by Lanpec Technologies Ltd , gaining 10.06% and WPG (Shanghai) Smart Water Public Co Ltd, up by 10.02%.

** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is up 7.5% and the CSI300 gained 13.5%, while China’s H-share index listed in Hong Kong is down 12%. Shanghai stocks have declined 3.44% this month. (Reporting by Winni Zhou and Andrew Galbraith, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)