SHANGHAI, Jan 4 (Reuters) - China's key stock index started 2010 up 0.4 percent on Monday, led by large cap stocks after gaining a solid 80 percent in 2009 as one of the world's best performing major markets, underpinned by brighter prospects for economic recovery and corporate earnings.
The Shanghai Composite Index .SSEC opened at 3,289.750 points.
Minsheng Bank (600016.SS), one of the most actively traded stocks, rose 1.52 percent to 8.03 yuan.
"Investors are very optimistic about the market's trend in the first quarter of this year due to the economic and market outlook," said Zheng Weigang, head of investment at Shanghai Securities.
"Looking forward to the rest of the year, it will depend on how fast the government will exit its economic stimulus scheme."
Analysts said they expected the index should break through its 2009 peak of 3,478 points in coming weeks, with large-caps outperforming on market expectations that China would launch its first stock index futures in the first quarter.
The launch of the long-awaited futures, that has taken more than three years, will push up index heavyweights as institutions try to have a bigger say in pricing the derivatives. ($1 = 6.83 yuan) (Reporting by Lu Jianxin and Jacqueline Wong)