China shares settle lower on profit-taking; healthcare, consumer stocks down

China shares settle lower on profit-taking; healthcare, consumer stocks down

China shares ended lower on Wednesday as investors booked profit from consumer and healthcare stocks after the blue-chip index scaled a 13-year closing high in the previous session.

At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was down 0.27% at 3,598.65, while the blue-chip CSI300 index fell 0.33%.

The consumer staples sector in the blue-chip index was down 0.85%, and the healthcare sub-index slipped 1.7%.

The smaller Shenzhen index ended down 1.27% and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was weaker by 1.57%, after losing as much as 2% earlier in the day.

The CSI300 index snapped week-long gains from the start of 2021, and kept touching a 13-year high in recent trading sessions fuelled by accommodative monetary policies this year hinted by the central bank, and stable economic data.

Global investors were also shoring up Chinese stocks in early 2021 as they redeployed cash, and Asian markets saw clear re-risking with China A-shares staging strong performance, said Andy Wong, a senior investment manager at Pictec Asset Management Co. So far this year, the Shanghai stock index has gained 3.6% and the CSI300 index has risen 7%, while China’s H-share index listed in Hong Kong is up 4.2%.

Besides profit-taking, overall market sentiment on Wednesday was also dented by the resurgence of coronavirus cases on the mainland, as China recorded the biggest daily jump in more than five months, and placed four northern cities in lockdown.

Energy supply-wise, Chinese ports and marine safety authorities are on high alert as an expansion of sea ice makes it tougher for ships to berth and discharge at key energy product import terminals along the coast of northern Bohai Bay, Reuters reported.

Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.25%, while Japan‘s Nikkei index closed up 1.04%.

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