SHANGHAI, June 30 (Reuters) - China stocks marked their best
month in nearly two years on Thursday, supported by signs of an
economic recovery after the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.
** However, in Hong Kong, the benchmark Hang Seng Index
slipped 0.62% to 21,859.79 points at close, while Chinese
H-shares listed in Hong Kong edged down 0.36% to
** By the end of the session, Shanghai Composite index
rose 1.1% to 3,398.62 points, while blue-chip CSI300 index
gained 1.44% to 4,485.01 points. Both indexes recorded
their biggest monthly gains since July 2020.
** Gains across the board came as official data showed that
China's factory and service sectors snapped three months of
activity decline in June, as authorities lifted a strict COVID
lockdown in Shanghai, reviving output and consumer spending.
** China's central bank needs to keep cuts to interest rates and
banks' reserve requirement ratio among its policy options while
waiting for the economy to bounce back, said Guan Tao, a former
senior official at the country's foreign exchange regulator.
** Analysts said hopes for more stimulus measures, including
monetary easing, continued to lend support to markets.
"In the early stage of economic recovery, regardless of the pace
of growth, monetary policy at least favours an easing bias,"
said Zhang Jingjing, chief macro analyst at China Merchants
** The latest easing of coronavirus travel rules combined with
other encouraging policy signals have begun to lure some foreign
investors back to Chinese stocks, raising the chances that the
market can sustain its bounce after months of heavy selling.
** Official data showed that foreign investors bought 139.15
billion yuan ($20.79 billion) of China stocks this month through
the Stock Connect scheme, the most this year.
** Tourism and liquor sectors were among the biggest winners as
easing coronavirus restrictions boosted investor sentiment. An
index tracking tourism-related companies jumped
4.1% at close.
** CSI liquor, a gauge that measures the
performance of spirits producers, rose 3.74% on Thursday.
Wuliangye Yibin Co Ltd jumped 5.17% to 201.93 yuan,
while Kweichow Moutai surged 1.83% to 2,045 yuan at
($1 = 6.6946 Chinese yuan)
(Reporting by the Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Sherry
Jacob-Phillips and Amy Caren Daniel)