SHANGHAI, March 4 (Reuters) - Chinese shares rose on Monday in heavy trading, finishing near nine-month highs as Washington and Beijing were said to move closer to reaching a deal to end their trade war, and as China prepared for the opening of its annual session of parliament.
** At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was up 1.12 percent at 3,027.58 points, the first time it has closed above 3,000 points since June, and its highest close since June 14. ** The blue-chip CSI300 index finished 1.18 percent higher at 3,794.10 points, its highest close since June 12. ** Trading volumes were high, with about 52.56 billion shares traded on the Shanghai exchange, roughly 228.1 percent of the market’s 30-day moving average of 23.04 billion shares a day. The volume in the previous trading session was 34.58 billion. ** The smaller Shenzhen index ended up 2.21 percent and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was higher by 3.306 percent. ** Zhang Yanbing, an analyst at Zheshang Securities in Shanghai, said the rally was a continuation of market strength “prompted by the combination of many favourable factors” that have emerged since October of last year. ** But he said that the news of a possible forthcoming agreement between China and the United States, and the opening of the annual session of China’s parliament on March 5 could be seen as specific factors driving gains on Monday. ** Chinese leaders are expected to set less ambitious targets for economic growth this year, but Premier Li Keqiang’s 2019 work report is expected to offer more assurances of Beijing’s support for small businesses, and plans to boost domestic demand and safeguard jobs. ** The United States and China appear close to a deal that would roll back U.S. tariffs on at least $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, as Beijing makes pledges on structural economic changes and eliminates retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods, a source briefed on negotiations told Reuters on Sunday. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.28 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 1.02 percent. ** At 07:15 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 6.696 per U.S. dollar, 0.18 percent firmer than the previous close of 6.7078. ** The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were Shanghai Feilo Acoustics Co Ltd, up 10.13 percent, followed by Sichuan Hongda Co Ltd, gaining 10.12 percent and Sichuan Changhong Electric Co Ltd, up by 10.1 percent. ** The largest percentage losses in the Shanghai index were WuXi Xinje Electric Co Ltd down 5.43 percent, followed by Healthcare Co Ltd losing 3.32 percent and Luenmei Quantum Co Ltd down by 3.16 percent. ** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is up 21.4 percent and the CSI300 has risen 26 percent , while China’s H-share index listed in Hong Kong is up 14.7 percent. Shanghai stocks have risen 2.95 percent this month. (Reporting by Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)