China stocks end lower as economic slowdown worries bite

SHANGHAI: China stocks ended lower on Friday, dented by fresh signs of economic slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy, though losses were capped by upbeat brokerage shares after Beijing floated plans for a new stock exchange.

At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was down 0.43% at 3,581.73 points, while China’s blue-chip CSI300 index fell 0.54% to 4,843.06 points.

For the week, the SSEC gained 1.69%, while the CSI300 index was up by 0.33%.

The smaller Shenzhen index ended 0.58% lower while the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was weaker by 1.17%. However, Shanghai’s tech-focused STAR50 index was closed up 0.1%.

Sentiment remained weak after a private survey showed activity in China’s services sector slumped into sharp contraction in August, as the Delta variant curbs threatened to derail the recovery in the broad economy.

But losses were somehow capped by brokerage shares, after China’s President Xi Jinping said the country would set up a stock exchange in its capital, Beijing, to serve small- and medium-sized enterprises.

Shares of brokerages, including Northeast Securities Co , Dongxing Securities Co and Shenwan Hongyuan Group Co jumped, with investors betting they will benefit from more initial public offerings (IPOs).

China’s Neeq Component Index, which tracks companies listed on Beijing’s New Third Board, jumped 2.68% at the close.

The government’s plans to launch a stock exchange knocked down gains in Shenzhen start-up board ChiNext and The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong as some investors fear a rivalry for listing resources is inevitable.

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