SHANGHAI, Dec 18 (Reuters) - China’s main Shanghai stock market ended slightly firmer on Monday, recovering from earlier losses, while its main blue-chip Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 index also closed up on the day. ** The market was earlier weighed down by concerns over tight year-end liquidity after the central bank lifted interbank market rates but sentiment improved in the afternoon partly aided by property data.
** Growth in China’s new home prices sustained momentum in November, data showed. With price increases seen in provincial centres and smaller cities, policymakers may need to step up curbs to rein in speculation in the property market.
** The People’s Bank of China raised interest rates on reverse repurchase agreements, or reverse repos, used for open market operations by 5 basis points for the 14-day tenor on Monday, following upward adjustments on other tenors last week.
** At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was up 2.19 points or 0.07 percent at 3,268.33. ** The blue-chip CSI300 index was up 0.12 percent, with its financial sector sub-index higher by 0.04 percent, the consumer staples sector up 2.01 percent, the real estate index down 0.82 percent and healthcare sub-index up 0.23 percent. ** The smaller Shenzhen index ended down 0.63 percent and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was weaker by 0.19 percent. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.50 percent while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 1.55 percent. ** At 07:11 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 6.6128 per U.S. dollar, 0.07 percent weaker than the previous close of 6.608. ** The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were Hunan Tyen Machinery Co Ltd up 10.07 percent, followed by Leshan Electric Power Co Ltd gaining 10.04 percent and Tianjin Hi-Tech Development Co Ltd up by 10 percent. ** The largest percentage losses in the Shanghai index were Cangzhou Dahua Co Ltd down 10 percent, followed by Hangzhou Silan Microelectronics Co Ltd losing 9.95 percent and SJEC Corp down by 9.65 percent. ** About 12.07 billion shares were traded on the Shanghai exchange, roughly 72.5 percent of the market’s 30-day moving average of 16.65 billion shares a day. The volume in the previous trading session was 13.09 billion. ** As of 07:12 GMT, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 28.95 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. ** The Shanghai stock index is below its 50-day moving average and above its 200-day moving average. (Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)