China shares end flat; healthcare firms drag on accounting check worries
China's main stock market indexes ended flat on Wednesday as Beijing's plans to conduct accounting checks pulled healthcare firms lower, offsetting a regional rebound sparked by the US central bank's comments that raised hopes of an interest rate cut.
At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was down 0.03 per cent at 2,861.42. The blue-chip CSI300 index was down 0.04 per cent, with its financial sector sub-index higher by 0.41 per cent, the consumer staples sector down 0.52 per cent and the real estate index up 2.28 per cent.
The healthcare sub-index slumped 4.07 per cent after a notice on the website of China's Ministry of Finance said the country will carry quality checks on accounting information in the pharmaceuticals industry in June and July. Offering a boost to investor sentiment, Chinese President Xi Jinping said the country's economy is stable, healthy and well placed to meet all risks and challenges.
But the International Monetary Fund on Wednesday cut its 2019 economic growth forecast for China to 6.2 per cent on heightened uncertainty around trade frictions, saying that more monetary policy easing would be warranted if the Sino-US trade war escalates.
The smaller Shenzhen index ended unchanged for the day and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was weaker by 0.35 per cent. Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.32 per cent, while Japan's Nikkei index closed up 1.8 per cent. At 0718 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 6.9082 per US dollar, per cent firmer than the previous close of 6.9083. The yuan gave up the last of its 2019 gains on Wednesday on a trade-weighted basis and moved into negative territory against a basket of currencies of China's trading partners, according to Reuters calculations basedRead More – Source