HONG KONG: China stocks ended higher on Thursday on recovering global investor sentiment, but gains were modest ahead of March-quarter GDP data that is expected to show an economic contraction for the first time in nearly 30 years.

The Shanghai Composite index closed up 0.3 per cent at 2,819.94, while the blue-chip CSI300 index gained 0.1 per cent, having fitted in and out of negative territory.

CSI300’s financial sector sub-index was higher by 0.1 per cent, the consumer staple ..

sector was down 0.3 per cent and the healthcare sub-index edged up 0.4 per cent.

The smaller Shenzhen index added 0.5 per cent and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index gained by 1.6 per cent.

China is expected to publish its first-quarter GDP, activity data 0200 GMT on Friday.

A Reuters poll shows the coronavirus crisis likely knocked China’s economy into its first decline since at least 1992 in the first quarter, raising the heat on authorities to do more to res ..