China blue chips rise, aided by liquor-maker and industry firms

SHANGHAI: China's blue-chip index powered to a fresh 28-month high on Thursday, underpinned by stellar earnings reports from companies such as liquor maker Moutai and as investors expect Beijing to push forward "Belt and Road" projects.

The blue-chip CSI300 index rose 0.4 percent, to 3,993.58, while the Shanghai Composite Index added 0.3 percent to 3,407.57 points.

Gains were led by consumer and industry firms, while healthcare and banking stocks retreated.

Investors' attention shifted back towards earnings and economic fundamentals after the week-long Communist Party Congress and the country's new leadership line-up revealed on Wednesday provided few major surprises.

Giving a big boost to confidence, Kweichow Moutai , already the world's most valuable liquor maker, reported a more than doubling in its third-quarter net profit.

Moutai shares leapt 7 percent to a fresh peak, leading a 3.1 percent jump in the consumer sector.

Industrial firms also rose, led by CRRC Corporation scaling an 11-month high, as investors expect the country's largest train maker to benefit from Beijing's efforts to push forward "Belt and Road" project

In an amended charter, China's ruling Communist Party pledges to "pursue the Belt and Road initiative", a further sign of President Xi Jinping's expanding power and evidence that the ambitious modern Silk Road initiative will endure beyond his tenure.

"As political power has become more centralised, President Xi's agenda will be pivotal," Larry Hu, analyst with Macquarie Capital Limited, wrote in a report.