(Yicai Global) Feb. 14 -- China's stock markets inched higher in afternoon trading as better than expected January trade data gave market participants a fillip.
Investors adopted a wait-and-see approach as a new round of high-level China-US trade talks kicked off in Beijing this morning, after the market experienced a strong recent rally.
The first batch of economic data is validating their recent optimism about improvement in the nation's business environment, as data China's General Administration of Customs released today show that, though the country's imports measured in dollars still fell 1.5 percent per year last month, this was a vast improvement over December's 7.6 percent fall, and also beat the market's expectations of a 10.2 percent drop. Exports rose 9.1 percent annually, again beating the market's odds on a 3.8 percent drop and December's 4.4 percent contraction.
The Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.05 percent to 2,719.70 points at the close. The Shenzhen Component Index rose 0.60 percent to 8,219.96 points in a four-month high, while the ChiNext Price Index of Shenzhen's growth companies notched up 0.31 percent to 1,361.94 points in a two-month peak.
The three major indexes have been in a jolly humor of late, with the Shanghai Composite Index climbing 5.6 percent, the Shenzhen Component Index gaining 9.4 percent in the past five trading days, and the tech-focused ChiNext Price Index grabbing a 10.6 percent gain in the past four trading days.
Editor: Ben Armour