Headline indices of the Mainland China equity market closed sharp higher on Friday, 22 February 2019, as investor risk appetite supported by optimism that Washington and Beijing may be nearing a deal that could end their seven-month trade war. At closing bell, the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index added 1.91%, or 52.43 points, to 2,804.23. The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China's second exchange, rose 2.28%, or 32.90 points, to 1,477.25. The blue-chip CSI300 index rose 2.25%, or 77.41 points, to 3,502.12.
Investors continue to closely watch high-level talks between U. S. and Chinese trade negotiators in Washington, with little more than a week left before a U. S.-imposed deadline for an agreement expires, triggering higher tariffs. U.
S. and Chinese negotiators have started to iron out specific details of a possible trade deal. The report said agreements in principle are being drawn up in six key areas: forced technology transfers and cyber theft, intellectual-property rights, services, currency, agriculture and non-tariff barriers to trade. Negotiators have continued talks in Washington this week, following a round of discussions last week in Beijing. President Donald Trump earlier said that a March 1 deadline isn't a magical date, which investors took as a sign that tariffs on imports of Chinese goods may not automatically rise next month if progress continues toward a deal.
Property stocks slid, after data showed China's January home price growth slipped to a 9-month low. Growth in China's new home prices eased slightly in January from December, in initial signs the property market is cooling as the economy slows, but price gains in annual terms accelerated.
CURRENCY NEWS: China's yuan climbed up against the U. S. dollar on Friday. Prior to the market opening on Friday, the People's Bank of China (PBOC) set the midpoint rate at 6.7151 per dollar, the strongest since Feb. 1 and 69 pips or 0.1 percent firmer than the previous fix of 6.7220. In the spot market, the onshore yuan opened at 6.7300 per dollar and was changing hands at 6.7296 at midday, 98 pips weaker than the previous late session close and 0.22 percent softer than the midpoint.
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