China Indexes Fall, Erasing Most of This Week's Gains

Markets Reuters

(Reuters)

China's main stock indexes fell on Friday as investors retreated from brokerage and newly-listed stocks after a recent rally, erasing most of the gains made earlier this week.

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The blue-chip CSI300 index dropped 0.6 percent to 3,421.44 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.9 percent to 3,202.08 points.

For the week, CSI and SSEC both added 0.2 percent.

Brokerage stocks initially rose sharply on Friday, after China's securities regulator said late on Thursday it will relax certain rules on stock index futures trading as the government starts to gradually unwind restrictions imposed during the 2015 market meltdown.

But most of the brokerage gains were pared in the afternoon, dragging down the overall market.

Six newly listed stocks tumbled by their 10 percent trade limit, dealing a blow to participants riding the rally of small-cap financial stocks recently, in particular banks and brokerage stocks.

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Zhang Qi, an analyst with Haitong Securities, cautioned that some financial stocks were driven by speculators and their strength could be short-lived.

Most sectors lost ground. Infrastructure stocks posted their worst losses in more than two months.

Gains were seen in consumer plays, with a gauge of liquor makers settling at a seven-month high as some makers moved to lift product prices.

(Reporting by Luoyan Liu and John Ruwitch; Editing by Richard Borsuk)