SHANGHAI, Jan 20 (Reuters) - China's blue-chip stocks closed higher on Thursday after a set of key policy rates and lending benchmarks were cut to prop up a slowing economy, with investors pinning hopes on further easing in policies by Beijing.
The CSI300 index ended 0.9% higher at 4,823.51, while the Shanghai Composite Index edged down 0.1% to 3,555.06 points.
** The one-year loan prime rate (LPR) was lowered by 10 basis points, and the five-year LPR was reduced by 5 basis points — the first reduction since April 2020.
** The LPR cuts were expected after official comments called for more monetary easing to prop up the broad economy.
** The CSI300 banks index rose 2.2%, while consumer staples added 1.8%.
** Real estate developers pared earlier gains in afternoon trade and ended down 0.5%. Reuters reported China is drafting nationwide rules to make it easier for developers to access funds from sales still held in escrow accounts, in its move to ease a severe cash crunch in the sector.
** Chipmakers retreated 1.2%, as China's industry ministry projected tight supplies of semiconductors to continue over a relatively long period of time.
** The Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) said it has asked companies listed on the Nasdaq-style STAR Market to disclose environmental, social and governance (ESG)-related information in their annual reports. (Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; editing by Uttaresh.V)