China shares end flat as healthcare losses offset gains in property stocks

At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was down 0.07% at 3,449.38.

BEIJING/SHANGHAI: China stocks erased earlier gains to end nearly flat on Wednesday, with gains in property stocks offset by losses in healthcare, as investors took a breather following a recent rally on upbeat data pointing to a continued economic recovery.

At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was down 0.07% at 3,449.38.

The index hit its highest since February 2018 earlier in the session, as investors cheered better-than-expected manufacturing data and hopes of continued economic recovery.

China's blue-chip CSI300 index ended flat, while the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was 0.57% lower. Shanghai's tech-focused STAR50 index closed up 0.3%.

Leading the gains, the real estate sub-index rose 0.96% by the end of the session, with heavyweight Greenland Holdings Corp Ltd gaining 2.63%.

The sub-index tracking blue-chip healthcare stocks retreated 0.42%.

The smaller Shenzhen index was up 0.16%.

China's factory sector activity grew at its fastest pace in a decade in November, a business survey showed on Tuesday, as the economy rebounds to pre-pandemic levels.

The virus infection situation remains stable, as mainland China reported nine new COVID-19 cases on Dec. 1, down from 12 cases a day earlier, the country's national health authority said.

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden has said that he will not immediately act to remove the Phase 1 trade agreement, which President Donald Trump inked with China, the New York Times reported.

Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 1.21%, while Japan's Nikkei index closed up 0.05%. - Reuters

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