November 1, 2017 / 7:12 AM / a year ago

China blue-chip index ends weaker, banks weigh

SHANGHAI, Nov 1 (Reuters) - China’s blue-chip stocks slipped on Wednesday, with gains in resources and infrastructure firms offset by weakness in banks, and after a survey showed manufacturing output in October rose at the weakest pace in four months.

The blue-chip CSI300 index fell 0.2 percent, to 3,996.62, while the Shanghai Composite Index closed up 0.1 percent at 3,395.91 points.

Caution prevailed as a private survey showed China’s manufacturing output rose at the weakest pace in four months in October and companies continued to shed staff despite a slight pick-up in domestic and export orders.

The Caixin report, which followed a similar official survey on Tuesday that pointed to an unexpected slowdown in China’s manufacturing sector, reinforced concerns about the country’s economic recovery losing steam.

“We expect growth momentum to weaken in the coming months as the drags from slower credit growth, reduced fiscal support post-Party Congress and the environmental crackdown all intensify,” Julian Evans-Pritchard, China economist at Capital Economics, wrote.

Sector performance was mixed.

The infrastructure sector rose 0.8 percent, led by China State Construction Engineering posting its best day since mid-July.

Resource stocks also firmed, helped by strength in the commodities market, with the energy subindex up 0.7 percent.

But the banking sector slid 0.6 percent, while consumer stocks also weakened following recent gains. (Reporting by Luoyan Liu and John Ruwitch; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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