Shanghai stocks reversed early losses to end firmer on Wednesday, bolstered by a surge in property shares and resources firms.

At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was up 4.35 points or 0.13 per cent at 3,338.00. The blue-chip CSI300 index was down 0.05 per cent, with its financial sector sub-index higher by 0.77 per cent, the consumer staples sector down 2.39 per cent, the real estate index up 6.96 per cent and healthcare sub-index down 1.49 per cent.

The smaller Shenzhen index ended up 0.04 percent and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was weaker by 0.36 per cent.

Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.11 per cent, while Japan's Nikkei index closed up 0.49 per cent.

At 07:01 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 6.5977 per US dollar, 0.12 per cent firmer than the previous close of 6.6054.

The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were Poly Real Estate Group Co Ltd up 10.02 percent, followed by Shanghai Chinafortune Co Ltd gaining 10.02 per cent and SJEC Corp up by 10 per cent.

The largest percentage losses in the Shanghai index were Zhejiang Hisun Pharmaceutical Co Ltd down 7.67 per cent, followed by HUAYU Automotive Systems Co Ltd losing 5.61 per cent and Joincare Pharmaceutical GroupIndustry Co Ltd down by 4.74 per cent.

So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is up 7.41 per cent, while China's H-share index listed in Hong Kong is up 24.6 per cent. Shanghai stocks have declined 1.76 per cent this month.

About 18.38 billion shares were traded on the Shanghai exchange, roughly 106.2 per cent of the market's 30-day moving average of 17.32 billion shares a day. Volume in the previous trading session was 13.82 billion.

As of 07:02 GMT, China's A-shares were trading at a premium of 30.64 per cent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares.

The price-to-earnings ratio of the Shanghai index was 14.89 as of the last full trading day, while the dividend yield was 1.9 per cent. So far this week, the market capitalisation of the Shanghai stock index has fallen by -0.66 percent to 28.93 trillion yuan.