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 U.S. central bank's comments that raised hopes of an interest rate cut. ** At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was down 0.03% at 2,861.42. ** The blue-chip CSI300 index was down 0.04%, with its financial sector sub-index higher by 0.41%, the consumer staples sector down 0.52% and the real estate index up 2.28%. ** The healthcare sub-index slumped 4.07% 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% on heightened uncertainty around trade frictions, saying that more monetary policy easing would be warranted if the Sino-U.S. 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%. ** Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.32%, while Japan's Nikkei index closed up 1.8%. ** At 0718 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 6.9082 per U.S. dollar, % 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 based on official data from the China Foreign Exchange Trade System (CFETS). ** The largest percentage gainers on the main Shanghai Composite index were Jiangsu Zongyi Co Ltd, up 10.06%, followed by China Science Publishing & Media Ltd, and Jinjian Cereals Industry Co Ltd, both up 10.05% each. ** The largest percentage losers on the Shanghai index were Holsin Engineering Consulting Group Co Ltd down 10.01%, followed by CTS International Logistics Corp Ltd and Tibet Summit Resources Co Ltd both down 10% each. ** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is up 14.7% and the CSI300 has risen 19.5%, while China's H-share index listed in Hong Kong is up 2%. Shanghai stocks have declined 1.29% this month.
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