China stocks firm, healthcare firms jump

| Updated: October 24, 2017 17:59:16

File Photo (Reuters) File Photo (Reuters)

China stocks firmed on Wednesday, helped by a jump in defensive consumer staples such as big liquor producers, while resources shares curbed gains.

Sentiment remained largely positive although trade was thin, with Beijing expected to maintain stability in the financial markets ahead of a key party congress later this month.

The blue-chip CSI300 index rose 0.3 per cent, to 3,902.69 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index added 0.2 per cent to 3,388.28 points, reports Reuters.

Sector performance was mixed, with consumer and healthcare firms leading the advance, while materials sagged and banking stocks pared gains in the afternoon session.

Kweichow Moutai, China’s largest liquor maker by market value, climbed 1.0 per cent to a record high, helping the major consumer index gain more than 2.0 per cent to the highest since it was launched in 2005.

The large-cap firm has surged more than 60 per cent this year, as investors chased sector leaders with steady growth.

Healthcare firms also rallied, led by Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine with a 2.5 percent gain, after the government pledged big healthcare reforms.

An index tracking major medical firms advanced to its highest since June 2015, having gained nearly 20 per cent so far this year.

But resources firms continued to languish on the weakness in commodities, with China Molybdenum dropping 3.5 per cent and dragging the material sector 0.8 per cent lower.

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