China stocks post best week in 2 months on rate cut bets, trade talk hopes

* SSEC 0.5%, CSI300 0.7%, HSI 0.6%

* HK->Shanghai Connect daily quota used 0.2%

* Shanghai->HK daily quota used 4.3%

* FTSE China A50 +1.2%

SHANGHAI, Aug 23 (Reuters) - China stocks closed higher on Friday and posted their best week in two months, as investors hoped for progress in Sino-U.S. trade negotiations as the United States still plans in-person talks next month.

** The blue-chip CSI300 index rose 0.7% to 3,820.86, while the Shanghai Composite Index ended 0.5% higher at 2,897.43.

** For the week, CSI300 climbed 3.0%, while SSEC added 2.6%, posting their best weekly gains since late June.

** The Trump administration is still planning for a round of in-person talks between U.S. and Chinese officials in September after a constructive exchange this week between deputy-level negotiators, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Thursday.

** That came after China said it hopes the United States will stop its wrong tariff action, adding that any new tariffs would lead to escalation.

** China lowered its new lending reference rate slightly on Tuesday, as expected, as the central bank kicked off interest rate reforms designed to reduce corporate borrowing costs in the world's second-largest economy.

** Healthcare firms led the gains on Friday, with the CSI300 healthcare index rising 3.3%.

** Market bellwether Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine 600276.SS surged 6.8% to a record high, while liquor giant Kweichow Moutai Co Ltd also closed at a new peak.

** Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.32%, while Japan's Nikkei index closed up 0.4%.

** At 07:14 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 7.0836 per dollar, 0.01% weaker than the previous close of 7.083.

** The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were Henan Yinge Industrial Investment Co Ltd , up 10.07%, followed by Hunan Fangsheng Pharmaceutical Co Ltd, gaining 10.05% and Shanghai Laimu Electronics Co Ltd, up by 10.05%.

** The largest percentage losers in the Shanghai index were Henan Thinker Automatic Equipment Co Ltd down 7.82%, followed by Shanghai Feilo Acoustics Co Ltd losing 7.42% and Veken Technology Co Ltd down by 6.37%.

** As of 07:15 GMT, China's A-shares were trading at a premium of 29.54% over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. (Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

2019-08-23 09:36:00

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