November 8, 2017 / 7:19 AM / in a year

China's blue chips reverse gains to end lower after mixed trade data

SHANGHAI, Nov 8 (Reuters) - China’s blue-chip index reversed earlier gains to end lower, weighed down by healthcare and consumer stocks, and after data showed the country’s exports growth slowed in October.

The blue-chip CSI300 index fell 0.2 percent to 4,048.01 points, before climbing to a 27-month high, while the Shanghai Composite Index added 0.1 percent to 3,415.46 points.

China’s exports and import growth eased in October in a sign the world’s second-largest economy is starting to cool after a strong first half, with momentum seen slackening further as Beijing’s crackdown on pollution hits factory output.

“The big picture is that both outbound and inbound shipments have softened recently, a trend that continued last month,” Capital Economics China economist Julian Evans-Pritchard wrote in a note.

The latest trade numbers suggest that China’s recovery is starting to show signs of fatigue after economic growth slowed slightly in the third quarter, but still remains robust.

Sector performance was mixed on Wednesday.

Banking and materials shares pared earlier gains to end higher.

Healthcare firms led the decline with a 1.5 percent drop, after data showed foreign investors pocketed gains in leading medical stocks via the stock connects linking mainland and Hong Kong, including Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine .

Consumer firms also softened 0.4 percent.

But China’s brokerage stocks rallied, as market participants expect those firms to benefit from the run-up in the stock market, and as Beijing plans easing foreign holding for securities ventures. (Reporting by Luoyan Liu and John Ruwitch; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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