Major mainland shares close little changed

Source:Reuters-Global Times Published: 2017/8/23 18:13:39

The benchmark stock indexes in the Chinese mainland ended little changed on Wednesday, with profit taking in steel firms offsetting a rise in banks ahead of earnings reports that could set the tone for financials for the rest of the year.

The CSI300 index gained 0.10 percent to 3,756.09 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index slightly eased 0.08 percent to 3,287.70 points.

A statement from the China Iron and Steel Association saying that it saw little room for further price surges dragged on the sector and benchmark indexes, said Zhang Gang, an analyst at China Central Securities.

"At the same time, a rise in banking and insurance shares is pulling liquidity away from other sectors of the market, making it difficult for the Shanghai index to break through 3,300 in the short term given the lack of clear liquidity or policy signals," he said.

The materials sub-index fell 2.20 percent, with Baoshan Iron & Steel Co Ltd losing 3.77 percent and Aluminum Corp of China Ltd down 4.24 percent.

Meanwhile, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) gained 2.81 percent, and Ping An Insurance Group Co of China Ltd rose 0.36 percent. The financials sub-index increased 0.90 percent.

Despite worries that banks may face slower loan growth and narrower interest margins in the second half, market expectations of strong first-half profits have been supporting valuations in recent weeks.

After two days of limit-up trading, China United Network Communications, the Shanghai-listed arm of China Unicom, ended the morning up 0.7 percent and closed down 0.88 percent.



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