August 17, 2018 / 7:39 AM / a month ago

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

* Shanghai stocks close lower, blue-chip CSI300 index down

* Gains in Shanghai stocks led by Zhe Jiang Dong Ri Ltd Co and losses by MeiDu Energy Corp

* China’s A-shares are at a 16.38 percent premium over H-shares

SHANGHAI, Aug 17 (Reuters) - 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 percent down at 3,229.62 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index closed down 1.3 percent at 2,668.97 points. ** Both indexes posted their fifth straight day of losses. ** For the week, SSEC was down 4.5 percent, while CSI300 5.2 percent ** Sectors retreated across the board on Friday, led by healthcare firms, with an index tracking the sector closing down 3.3 percent. ** 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 percent while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 0.35 percent. ** At 0715 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 6.8887 per U.S. 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 percent firmer, followed by Red Avenue New Materials Group Co Ltd, which ended 10.02 percent higher and Jiangsu Nanfang Medical Co Ltd, which ended up 9.99 percent. ** The largest percentage losses in the Shanghai index were MeiDu Energy Corp, which ended down 10.1 percent, followed by Xiangpiaopiao Food Co Ltd, which closed 10.02 percent lower and Hylink Digital Solution Co Ltd , which ended down 10.01 percent. ** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is down 19.3 percent, the CSI300 has fallen 19.9 percent while China’s H-share index listed in Hong Kong is down 10.4 percent. Shanghai stocks have declined 7.21 percent this month. ** About 11.24 billion shares were traded on the Shanghai exchange, roughly 81.5 percent 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 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 11.78 as of the last full trading day, while the dividend yield was 2.8 percent. (Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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