HONG KONG Feb 13 China shares slipped for the first time in five days on Thursday, as weakness in the Chinese property sector ahead of more macroeconomic data offset strength for environmental-related sectors and Zijin Mining.
The Shanghai Composite Index ended down 0.6 percent at 2,098.4 points after closing on Wednesday at its highest since Dec. 31. Volumes on the larger of two bourses in the mainland stayed robust, topping 12 billion shares traded for a fourth-straight session.
The CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings sank 0.5 percent. This was the first daily loss for both benchmarks since markets reopened last Friday after a week-long Lunar New Year holiday.
The Nasdaq-style ChiNext Composite Index of mostly hi-tech start-ups listed in Shenzhen tumbled 3.5 percent after closing at a record closing high on Wednesday.
Poly Real Estate shares fell 2 percent in Shanghai after posting a 3.1 percent fall in contract sales in January from a year earlier, a result that weighed on the Chinese property sector.
Zijin Mining jumped 5.2 percent after the country's largest gold miner's announced plans to explore entering the shale gas industry, along with its 2014 production targets in an exchange statement dated Feb. 12.
Warren Buffett-backed electric vehicle manufacturer BYD Co Ltd surged 8.3 percent in Shenzhen after Premier Li Keqiang announced more anti-pollution measures at a cabinet meeting.
Beijing is due to post January money supply and loan growth data by Saturday, with inflation figures due on Friday. Trade data on Wednesday had handily beat expectations, but there was scepticism given past distortions from fake trade transactions. (Reporting by Clement Tan; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)