Indexes inch up as consumer stocks offset dragging bank shares

By Global Times – Reuters Source:Global Times - Reuters Published: 2017/3/21 18:43:39

Chinese mainland equities closed slightly higher on Tuesday with customer stocks overpowering weakness in the banking sector.

The blue-chip CSI 300 index rose 0.49 percent to 3,466.35 points.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index added 0.33 percent to 3,261.61 points, while the Shenzhen Component Index closed 0.52 percent higher at 10,586.62 points.

ChiNext, the country's NASDAQ equivalent, climbed 0.37 percent to 1,961.06 points on the day.

Banks continued to drag on the market due to higher costs and fewer lucrative lending options.

Gains were led by consumer stocks, in particular heavyweight liquor makers, as investors bought into the sector, which is expected to benefit from an industry recovery.

Sectors like landscape engineering, environmental protection and engineering construction also outperformed the market. The precious metal, cement and steel sectors led the declines.

Investors should pay close attention to small-cap stocks that are outperforming the market, said experts, who also recommended stocks related to supply-side reforms and State-owned enterprise reforms.

Shares in China Shenhua, the country's largest coal miner, shot up 8.4 percent to a fresh 19-month high.

Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng index added 0.37 percent to 24,593.12 points.

The Hang Seng has become the world's best-performing major equity index this year, gaining nearly 12 percent.

"I think we can call it a bull market, although the pace of gains will likely be slow as the general mood is still cautious. It's a slow bull," Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing Alex Wong, Hong Kong-based director at Ample Finance Group.



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