China Shares Surrender Gains as Property Stocks Drag

Markets Reuters

China stocks gave up early gains as a late afternoon slide in property shares wiped out initial optimism triggered by encouraging industrial profit data released over the weekend.

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The CSI300 index of the largest listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen fell 0.9 percent, to 3,169.73, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.7 percent, to 2,957.82 points.

The indexes were firm in morning trading, helped by data on Sunday showing industrial profits of Chinese firms returned to growth in the first two months of the year despite a slowing economy.

However, the equity gauges were dragged lower by property shares in afternoon trade , amid media reports that financial regulators in the eastern province of Zhejiang had begun to closely scrutinize real estate financing, and warned against financial risks associated with rapid property price rises in cities such as Nanjing and Suzhou.

Major developers including Gemdale Corp properties and Poly Real Estate fell, apparently on fears that real estate curbs, already adopted in Shanghai and Shenzhen, could spread to other cities in the country.

(Reporting Samuel Shen and Nathaniel Taplin; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)