Shanghai Composite closes lower as China financial, energy stocks weigh

SHANGHAI: China stocks closed lower on Thursday, weighed down by financial and energy firms, while investors pondered Beijing’s surprise hint at monetary easing.

The blue-chip CSI300 index ended 1.0% lower at 5,088.26, while the Shanghai Composite Index declined 0.8% to 3,525.50.

Leading the losses, the CSI300 financial index and the CSI300 energy index retreated 2% and 2.2%, respectively.

China will use timely cuts in the bank reserve requirement ratio (RRR) to support the real economy, especially small firms, the cabinet said on Wednesday.

There will not necessarily be a RRR cut after Beijing floats one, and it’s yet to be a turnaround and investors should not overly expect loosening, Huachuang Securities analysts noted in a report.

A continued correction in blue-chips also weighed on the market.

Currently, there are marked differences between now and 2020 in terms of economic and policy environments, leading to under performance of previously outperforming large-cap blue-chips listed in the A-share market and Hong Kong, including Gree Electric Appliances , China Vanke and Meituan, China Galaxy Securities said in a note.

As of Thursday, Gree was down 21% so far this year, Vanke down 16%, while Meituan shed 10%. Meituan has tumbled more than 40% from a record high hit on Feb 18.

Adding to the pressure was the latest headline on China’s crackdown on platform companies.

China’s market regulator said on Wednesday it has fined a number of internet companies including Didi Chuxing, Tencent and Alibaba for failing to report earlier merger and acquisition deals for approval, according to a statement on the website of the State Administration of Market Regulation (SAMR).

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