SHANGHAI, April 29 (Reuters) - China stocks edged higher on
Thursday, led by gains in financials on upbeat first-quarter
earnings from many heavyweight companies in the sector, while
some mutual funds' high allocations to the banking sector also
** At the midday break, the Shanghai Composite index was
up 0.17% at 3,463.10, while China's blue-chip CSI300 index
was up 0.25% at 5,132.12.
** The smaller Shenzhen index edged down 0.08%, the
start-up board ChiNext Composite index was weaker by
0.57% and Shanghai's tech-focused STAR50 index was
** CITIC Securities Co,, China's biggest
brokerage by assets, reported a 26.7% rise in first-quarter net
profit on Wednesday, led by strong growth in commission fees.
** A gauge that measures the performance of the sector, the CSI
SWS securities index, was up 2.58%.
** Bank of Jiangsu hit its upward trading limit
earlier in the session, after the lender said its non-performing
loan ratio fell to 1.32% at end-March, the lowest level since it
** Banking shares were up after some mutual funds reportedly
increased their allocation to the sector. Data showed that total
market value of mutual fund holdings in banks stood at 123.39
billion yuan ($19.07 billion) at end-March, up by 73.44% from
the previous quarter.
** Zhang Yiwei, analyst at China Galaxy Securities, said the
higher banking allocation was underpinned by "macro economic
recovery, easing pressure on profit distribution and the release
of provisions". He sees room for continued improvement in the
bank sector for higher valuation.
** Chinese H-shares listed in Hong Kong rose 0.38% to
11,057.03, while the Hang Seng Index was up 0.62% at
** Gains in Hong Kong was tracking its peers in the region after
the U.S. Federal Reserve said it was too early to consider
rolling back emergency support for the economy.
($1 = 6.4712 Chinese yuan)
(Reporting by Winni Zhou and Andrew Galbraith; Editing by