Shanghai stocks end at 31-month low as healthcare firms slump

Reuters Shanghai | Updated on August 17, 2018 Published on August 17, 2018

The blue-chip CSI300 index ended 1.5 per cent down at 3,229.62 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index closed down 1.3 per cent at 2,668.97 points.

China's A-shares are at a 16.38 per cent premium over H-shares

Shanghai stocks closed at a near 31-month low on Friday, dragged down by a slump in healthcare firms amid a vaccine scandal fallout, but planned talks between the United States and China helped ease trade war fears.

The blue-chip CSI300 index ended 1.5 per cent down at 3,229.62 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index closed down 1.3 per cent at 2,668.97 points. Both indexes posted their fifth straight day of losses.

For the week, SSEC was down 4.5 per cent, while CSI300 5.2 per cent. Sectors retreated across the board on Friday, led by healthcare firms, with an index tracking the sector closing down 3.3 per cent.

Vaccine scandal

China sacked a senior provincial official and is probing a former top drug regulator after a safety scandal at vaccine maker Changsheng Biotechnology Co Ltd, which again warned it could be delisted over the scandal.

China and the United States said their governments will hold lower-level trade talks this month, raising hope of an easing of tensions in an escalating trade war.

Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.36 per cent, while Japan's Nikkei index closed up 0.35 per cent. At 0715 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 6.8887 per US dollar, 0.02 percent firmer than previous close of 6.89.

The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were Zhe Jiang Dong Ri Ltd Co, which closed 10.06 per cent firmer, followed by Red Avenue New Materials Group Co Ltd, which ended 10.02 per cent higher and Jiangsu Nanfang Medical Co Ltd, which ended up 9.99 per cent.

The largest percentage losses in the Shanghai index were MeiDu Energy Corp, which ended down 10.1 per cent, followed by Xiangpiaopiao Food Co Ltd, which closed 10.02 per cent lower and Hylink Digital Solution Co Ltd , which ended down 10.01 per cent.

So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is down 19.3 per cent, the CSI300 has fallen 19.9 per cent, while China's H-share index listed in Hong Kong is down 10.4 per cent. Shanghai stocks have declined 7.21 per cent this month.

About 11.24 billion shares were traded on the Shanghai exchange, roughly 81.5 per cent of the market's 30-day moving average of 13.81 billion shares a day. The volume in the previous trading session was 12.03 billion.

As of 0717 GMT, China's A-shares were trading at a premium of 16.38 per cent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. The Shanghai stock index is below its 50-day moving average and below its 200-day moving average.

The price-to-earnings ratio of the Shanghai index was 11.78 as of the last full trading day, while the dividend yield was 2.8 per cent.

Published on August 17, 2018

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