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China stocks slide as healthcare, energy firms tumble


China stocks slid on Wednesday as healthcare shares extended their plunge over fears of a potential new drug procurement policy, while the energy sector was hit by a steep drop in crude oil prices.

** The blue-chip CSI300 index closed down 1.2 percent at 3,091.13 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index dropped 1.1 percent to 2,549.56 points.

** Caution prevailed across global equity markets amid speculation that the U.S. Federal Reserve might be done with monetary policy tightening after its two-day meeting ends on Wednesday.

** Healthcare firms slid for the fourth straight session, with the CSI300 healthcare index plummeting 3.3 percent to its lowest since early 2017, as investors reacted to policy headwinds including a pilot volume-based drug procurement policy.

** Shanghai will be the first to roll out supporting measures for a pilot volume-based drug procurement plan that includes 11 major cities in the country and involves steep price cuts of drugs, domestic news outlet Yicai reported.

** Energy firms retreated after a plunge in oil prices on Tuesday, pressured by worries about oversupply and a slowing global economy .

** Property shares pared earlier gains to close slightly lower, after a Chinese city removed curbs on property sales, raising speculation of policy loosening in the tightly regulated sector amid an economic slowdown.

** There have been very high expectations for supportive measures from Beijing to bolster growth amid an economic slowdown, though investors could be somewhat nervous as President Xi Jinping offered no specific support measures for the economy in a closely watched speech marking 40 years of market liberalisation, said Yan Kaiwen, an analyst with China Fortune Securities.

** Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.51 percent, while Japan's Nikkei index closed down 0.6 percent.

** At 07:16 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 6.895 per U.S. dollar, 0.01 percent firmer than the previous close of 6.8959.

** The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were Lushang Property Co Ltd, up 10.09 percent, followed by DELIXI XINJIANG Transportation Co Ltd , gaining 10.01 percent and Hefei Taihe Optoelectronic Technology Co Ltd, up by 9.97 percent.

** The largest percentage losses in the Shanghai index were Wingtech Technology Co Ltd down 10 percent, followed by Shanghai Hugong Electric Group Co Ltd losing 9.96 percent and Shandong Xinchao Energy Corp Ltd down by 9.95 percent.

** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is down 22.9 percent, the CSI300 has fallen 23.3 percent while China's H-share index listed in Hong Kong is down 13.2 percent. Shanghai stocks have declined 1.49 percent this month.

** About 10.77 billion shares were traded on the Shanghai exchange, roughly 65.9 percent of the market's 30-day moving average of 16.33 billion shares a day. The volume in the previous trading session was 11.70 billion.

** As of 07:17 GMT, China's A-shares were trading at a premium of 18.49 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. (Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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