China stocks ended at fresh two-year highs on Friday, with the Shanghai index posting its fifth straight week of gains, as banks extended their rally and after the country posted its first acceleration in full-year growth in seven years.

China's economy grew faster than expected in the fourth quarter of 2017, underpinned by an export recovery, defying concerns that intensifying curbs on industry and credit would hurt expansion.

Growth for the 2017 full-year picked up to 6.9 per cent, the first annual acceleration for the economy since 2010. The annual growth easily beat the government's 2017 target of around 6.5 per cent and quickened from 6.7 per cent in 2016, the weakest pace in 26 years.

At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was up 14.35 points or 0.41 per cent at 3,489.11. The blue-chip CSI300 index was up 0.35 per cent, with its financial sector sub-index higher by 0.82 per cent, the consumer staples sector down 0.99 per cent, the real estate index down 0.69 per cent and healthcare sub-index down 0.05 per cent.

For the week, SSEC was up 1.7 per cent, while CSI300 gained 1.5 per cent, both closing at fresh two-year highs. The smaller Shenzhen index ended down 0.14 per cent and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was weaker by 0.57 per cent.

Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.33 per cent, while Japan's Nikkei index closed up 0.19 per cent. At 07:03 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 6.3955 per US dollar, 0.35 per cent firmer than the previous close of 6.418.

The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were Dongxing Securities Co Ltd up 10.04 per cent, followed by Qinghai Spring Medicinal Resources Technology Co Ltd gaining 10.03 per cent and Ningbo Yunsheng Co Ltd up by 10 per cent.

The largest percentage losses in the Shanghai index were Zhongyuan Union Cell & Gene Engineering Corp Ltd down 10 per cent, followed by Easysight Supply Chain Management Co Ltd losing 9.98 per cent and China Petroleum Engineering Corp down by 7.93 per cent.

So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is up 5.07 per cent, the CSI300 is up 5.5 per cent this year, while China's H-share index listed in Hong Kong is up 11.8 per cent. Shanghai stocks have risen 5.07 per cent this month.

About 24.75 billion shares were traded on the Shanghai exchange, roughly 147.4 per cent of the market's 30-day moving average of 16.80 billion shares a day. The volume in the previous trading session was 22.00 billion.

As of 07:04 GMT, China's A-shares were trading at a premium of 29.06 per cent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. The Shanghai stock index is above its 50-day moving average and above its 200-day moving average.

The price-to-earnings ratio of the Shanghai index was 15.76 as of the last full trading day while the dividend yield was 1.8 percent. So far this week, the market capitalisation of the Shanghai stock index has risen by 1.39 per cent to 30.52 trillion yuan.

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