February 28, 2018 / 7:37 AM / a year ago

Shanghai shares see worst month since early 2016

* Shanghai stocks lower, blue-chip CSI300 index down Gains in Shanghai stocks led by CSSC Science & Technology Co Ltd and losses by Aluminum Corp of China Ltd China’s A-shares are at a 27.73 percent premium over H-shares

SHANGHAI, Feb 28 (Reuters) - China stocks extended losses on Wednesday, with the benchmark Shanghai index recording its worst month since early 2016, as weak factory data rekindled worries about the country’s economic health amid fears of faster rate hikes in the United States. ** For the month, Shanghai Composite Index dropped 6.4 percent, its worst monthly fall since January 2016, while CSI300 lost 5.9 percent, its biggest monthly slide since late 2016. ** Growth in China’s manufacturing sector in February slowed more than expected to the weakest in over 1-1/2 years as the Lunar New Year holidays disrupted business activity and tougher pollution rules curtailed factory output. ** “Although a recovery looks possible in the short-run as the anti-pollution campaign winds down, the risk is still that the economy fares worse this year than is generally expected,” said Julian Evans-Pritchard, senior China Economist at Capital Economics. ** Sentiment was already sour after Fed’s Jerome Powell gave an upbeat view of the U.S. economy on Tuesday and said recent data had strengthened his confidence on inflation. ** At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was down 1 percent at 3,259.41 ** The blue-chip CSI300 index was down 0.87 percent, with its financial sector sub-index lower by 1.35 percent, the consumer staples sector down 2.56 percent, the real estate index up 0.25 percent and healthcare sub-index down 0.37 percent. ** The smaller Shenzhen index ended up 0.16 percent and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was higher by 0.58 percent. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 1.02 percent while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 1.44 percent . ** At 07:03 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 6.3274 per U.S. dollar, 0.16 percent weaker than the previous close of 6.317. ** The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were CSSC Science & Technology Co Ltd, up 10.03 percent, followed by Daheng New Epoch Technology Inc , up 9.97 percent, and Datang Telecom Technology Co Ltd, up 9.95 percent. ** Top percentage losers in the Shanghai index were Aluminum Corp of China Ltd, down 9.92 percent, followed by Shandong Lukang Pharmaceutical Co Ltd, down 6.91 percent, and Henan Ancai Hi-tech Co Ltd, down 5.22 percent. ** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is down 1.4 percent and the CSI300 is down 0.2 percent this year, while China’s H-share index listed in Hong Kong is up 2.9 percent. Shanghai stocks have declined 6.4 percent this month. ** About 15.10 billion shares were traded on the Shanghai exchange, roughly 72.2 percent of the market’s 30-day moving average of 20.91 billion shares a day. The volume in the previous trading session was 17.42 billion. ** As of 07:05 GMT, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 27.74 percent 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 15.05 as of the last full trading day while the dividend yield was 1.9 percent. ** So far this week, the market capitalisation of the Shanghai stock index has risen by 1.17 percent to 29.50 trillion yuan. (Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom)

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