SHANGHAI (AFP) – Chinese shares rose to a new four-year high on Friday, extending recent gains as financial shares jumped on hopes of further monetary stimulus measures, dealers said.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index soared 2.77 per cent, or 85.06 points, to 3,157.60 on turnover of 488.9 billion yuan ($79.9 billion). The index rose 1.58 per cent over the week.
The close marked the highest since November 8, 2010 when the Shanghai index ended at 3,159.51 points.
The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China’s second exchange, rose 1.04 per cent, or 14.86 points, to 1,439.48 on turnover of 221.2 billion yuan. It lost 1.78 per cent for the week.
Chinese shares jumped more than three per cent on Thursday after the government announced new corporate support policies aimed at boosting the economy.
The Shanghai index has gained over 20 per cent since the central People’s Bank of China (PBoC) announced a surprise interest rate cut in late November.
The market has experienced wide swings with hectic market turnover since then.
Analysts have said they expect more monetary stimulus measures to boost slumping growth in the world’s second-largest economy.
China Business News reported on Friday that the PBoC would allow banks to enlarge their deposit base by adding deposits from non-bank financial institutions, while setting the reserve requirement ratio (RRR) – the amount of money banks must keep on hand – for these institutions at zero.
The report cited an unidentified analyst as saying that such a move would have the same effect as cutting the RRR by giving banks more money to lend.
The reported action “is indicative of the PBoC’s loosening bias”, analysts at Nomura wrote in a note Friday. “It could help to improve tight liquidity conditions and in turn be supportive of growth.”
Securities firms were among the biggest winners on Friday. Shanghai-listed Industrial Securities surged by its 10 per cent daily limit to 15.25 yuan while Shenzhen-listed Shanxi Securities also rose 10 per cent to 16.36 yuan.
Banks extended further gains, with Industrial and Commercial Bank of China gaining 3.59 per cent to 4.62 yuan while Agricultural Bank of China added 3.59 per cent to 3.46 yuan.