China stocks fall on consumer, healthcare stocks; post weekly losses

SHANGHAI, Oct 23 (Reuters)thanks, - China stocks ended lower on Friday, posting weekly losses, as investors locked in profits in consumer and healthcare stocks on concerns over lofty valuations.

** At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was down 1.04% at 3,278.00, while the blue-chip CSI300 index lost 1.25%.

** The smaller Shenzhen index ended down 1.9% and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was weaker by 2.721%.

** For the week, the CSI300 declined 1.5%, snapping a three-week winning streak, while the SSEC shed 1.8%.

** The CSI300 healthcare index and CSI300 consumer staples index fell the most, closing down 3.4% and 2.3%, respectively.

** Analysts said there were worries over high valuations in some sectors, including consumer, healthcare and tech, as they have made robust gains so far this year, while concerns about corporate earnings also weighed.

** The market was dragged down by rising uncertainties including the ongoing Sino-U.S. tensions, the U.S. election, the resurgence of coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. and Europe, AJ Securities noted in a report.

** Shares in Chongqing Fuling Zhacai Group tumbled to their 10% daily trade limit after slower profit growth.

** Market participants are also keeping an eye on the U.S. election, as U.S. President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden offered sharply contrasting views on the still-raging COVID-19 pandemic at the final presidential debate ahead of the Nov. 3 election.

** China’s top leaders will chart the country’s economic course for 2021-2025 at a key meeting starting on Monday, seeking to balance growth and reforms to avoid stagnation amid an uncertain global outlook and deepening tensions with the United States.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.26%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 0.18%. (Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Aditya Soni)