Stocks up on strong holiday sales
Shanghai shares rallied on Monday as investors turned optimistic after the Ministry of Commerce said the country's retailers had reported strong holiday sales figures.
The Shanghai Composite Index gained 1.36 percent to close at 2,653.90 points.
Most sectors rose, with telecommunications and consumer firms among the biggest gainers.
The Ministry of Commerce said the country's retail and catering enterprises posted sales of about 1.005 trillion yuan (US$148.1 billion) during the Chinese New Year holiday from February 4 to last Sunday — an 8.5 percent rise year on year.
“The country’s commodity market maintained steady growth during the Chinese New Year holiday,” the ministry said.“Some emerging areas such as Internet consumption, customized consumption, experience consumption and smart consumption were the highlights.”
The ministry added that purchases for the Spring Festival, green food, intelligent home appliances, the latest digital products and local special products maintained rapid growth.
Liquor makers also posted strong growth on the A-share market, boosted by rising demand during the holiday.
Kweichow Moutai Co Ltd jumped 4.71 percent to 725.30 yuan, Shede Spirits Co Ltd rose 4.32 percent to 25.38 yuan and Shanxi Xinghuacun Fen Wine Factory Co Ltd rose 4.23 percent to 41.67 yuan.
China Development Bank Securities said in a research note that consumer demand for high-end rice liquor was steady in the peak season.
"Sales growth of high-end rice liquor is expected to perform well in the first quarter of 2019," the note said.