China shares log best week since Feb. 2021 on foreign buying surge
SHANGHAI, June 10 (Reuters) - China stocks rose on Friday, capping off their strongest week in nearly 16 months on a surge of buying by foreign investors that lifted automotive and consumer firms, and helped benchmark indexes cast off early losses.
** At the close, the Shanghai Composite index .SSEC was up 1.42% at 3,284.83.
** The blue-chip CSI300 index .CSI300 was up 1.52%, rising 3.65% for the week - its biggest weekly gain since early February 2021.
** Automotive shares .CSI931008 and the new energy vehicles sector .CSI399976 were among the biggest winners, rising 4.26% and 4.16%, respectively, on the back of an 8.19% rise in electric vehicle maker BYD Co Ltd BYDDF and battery giant Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd (CATL) 300750.SZ which gained 5.25%.
** The consumer staples sector sub-index .CSI000912 rose 1.58%, as distiller Kweichow Moutai Co Ltd 600519.SS added 2.57%.
** The sharp rises were driven by foreign buying, with Refinitiv data showing inflows of nearly 18.2 billion yuan through the Stock Connect programme's Northbound leg, the largest daily inflow since Dec. 9, 2021. .NQUOTA.SH, .NQUOTA.ZK
** The smaller Shenzhen index .SZSC ended up 1.94% and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index .CNT was higher by 2.251% as hopes for easing policy restrictions boosted sentiment.
** China's central leadership has given billionaire Jack Ma's Ant Group a tentative green light to revive its initial public offering (IPO), two sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters. nL1N2XX00L
** Approval of an Ant IPO "would just signal that this regulatory pressure that we've experienced for 12-plus months is unwinding, and that would be a very big statement," said Andy Maynard, head of equities at China Renaissance in Hong Kong.
** Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index .MIAPJ0000PUS was weaker by 0.93%, while Japan's Nikkei index .N225 closed down 1.49%.
** At 0718 GMT, the yuan CNY=CFXS was quoted at 6.6832 per U.S. dollar, 0.13% firmer than the previous close of 6.692.
(Reporting by Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)