1st LD-Writethru: Chinese shares end higher on economic data of Q1

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BEIJING, April 17 (Xinhua) -- Chinese stocks closed higher Friday after the country reported economic data for the first quarter of 2020, which shrank though, was better than expected.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.66 percent to 2,838.49 points, while the Shenzhen Component Index closed 0.55 percent higher at 10,527.99 points.

The combined turnover of stocks on the two indices stood at 740.3 billion yuan (about 104.7 billion U.S. dollars), expanding from 595 billion yuan the previous trading day.

Losers outnumbered gains by 786 to 613 on the Shanghai bourse and 1,233 to 877 in Shenzhen.

Stocks from the high-speed rail and air transportation registered strong performance, with shares of HNA Innovation Co.,Ltd. seeing its share price rise by the daily 10-percent limit to 2.3 yuan per share.

Companies in the industries of breeding and medical e-commerce led the losses.

The ChiNext Index, China's NASDAQ-style board of growth enterprises, gained 0.62 percent to close at 2,020.77 points Friday.

The slight gains came after the country reported GDP data that contracted 6.8 percent year on year in the first quarter, revealing for the first time the near-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on a major economy.

The country's economic and social development witnessed overall stability in Q1, the National Bureau of Statistics said at a press conference, while acknowledging that the COVID-19 outbreak had posed a severe test.

The economy possesses growth potential and room for policy adjustments, and the trend of continued recovery is expected for Q2 and the second half of 2020, said Wen Bin, a chief researcher with China Minsheng Bank.

CITIC Securities noted that the reallocation of overseas funds, the entry of industrial capital and the recovery of the domestic economy will jointly drive the market to rise in the second quarter. Enditem

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