Financial, consumer firms drag China shares lower; Shanghai Composite down 0.6% at close

SHANGHAI: China’s main share indexes ended lower on Friday, dragged down by financials and consumer staples, though the commodities sector rebounded from previous session’s slump as investors processed Beijing’s pledge to keep commodity prices in check.

At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was down 0.58 per cent at 3,486.56. The index fell 0.11 per cent for the week. The blue-chip CSI300 index was down 1.01 per cent, but delivered a weekly gain of 0.46 per cent.

The CSI300 financial sector sub-index fell 1.44 per cent, the consumer staples sector dropped 1.17 per cent, the real-estate index slipped 1.02 per cent, and the healthcare sub-index lost 1.43 per cent.

But Chinese commodity companies closed higher as analysts said China’s pledge to strengthen management to curb “unreasonable” increases in commodity prices are likely to have only a temporary effect.

The CSI300 energy index added 0.59 per cent and the CSI A-share resource industries index rose 0.83 per cent.

Chongqing Changan Automobile Co Ltd shares soared to close 8.46 per cent higher after Reuters exclusively reported that Changan is expanding its partnership with Huawei Technologies to include the design and development of auto-use semiconductors.

The smaller Shenzhen index ended down 0.51 per cent and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was weaker by 0.966 per cent.

Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.19 per cent, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 0.78 per cent. At 0703 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 6.4334 per U.S. dollar, 0.03 per cent firmer than the previous close of 6.4355.

So far this year, the Shanghai stock index climbed 0.4 per cent and the CSI300 has fallen 1.5 per cent, while China’s H-share index listed in Hong Kong dropped 0.3 per cent. Shanghai stocks have risen 1.15 per cent so far this month.

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