July 30, 2018 / 7:32 AM / 22 days ago

China stocks end lower as vaccine scandal extends healthcare slump

* Shanghai stocks lower, blue-chip CSI300 index down

* Gains in Shanghai stocks led by Jinxi Axle Co Ltd and losses by Nanjing Xinjiekou Department Store Co Ltd

* China’s A-shares are at a 17.60 percent premium over H-shares

SHANGHAI, July 30 (Reuters) - China stocks reversed earlier gains to end lower on Monday, weighed down by losses in healthcare shares as a vaccine scandal that has sparked public fury drove investors to extend a recent selloff. ** The blue-chip CSI300 index fell 0.2 percent to 3,515.08, while the Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.1 percent to 2,869.05. ** Bucking the broad weakness, infrastructure stocks climbed as investors expect such companies to benefit from Beijing’s planned infrastructure boost. ** China plans to put more money into infrastructure projects and ease borrowing curbs on local governments to help soften the blow to the economy from the Sino-U.S. trade war, policy sources told Reuters. ** Healthcare firms tumbled, with an index tracking major healthcare stocks ending down 2.9 percent, as a vaccine scandal continued to dampen risk appetite for the sector. ** In amended rules, China’s securities regulator said companies whose activities harm national security, public safety or the public interest could be suspended or delisted. ** “After the vaccine scandal, there is a crisis of confidence in the healthcare firms which could spread to more stocks with high valuations,” said Yan Kaiwen, an analyst with China Fortune Securities. ** Investors would tend to cut their positions in those firms to control potential losses, Yan said. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.41 percent while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 0.74 percent. ** At 07:09 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 6.822 per U.S. dollar, 0.12 percent weaker than the previous close of 6.814. ** The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were Jinxi Axle Co Ltd up 10.1 percent, followed by Sichuan Western Resources Holding Co Ltd gaining 10.09 percent and Ningbo Thermal Power Co Ltd up by 10.06 percent. ** The largest percentage losses in the Shanghai index were Nanjing Xinjiekou Department Store Co Ltd down 9.98 percent, followed by Shandong Lukang Pharmaceutical Co Ltd losing 9.93 percent and Chongqing Road and Bridge Co Ltd down by 9.92 percent. ** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is down 13.2 percent, the CSI300 has fallen 12.8 percent while China’s H-share index listed in Hong Kong is down 5.9 percent. Shanghai stocks have risen 0.8 percent this month. ** About 15.17 billion shares were traded on the Shanghai exchange, roughly 108.3 percent of the market’s 30-day moving average of 14.00 billion shares a day. The volume in the previous trading session was 14.64 billion. ** As of 07:09 GMT, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 17.60 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. (Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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