October 24, 2018 / 7:31 AM / 22 days ago

China shares eke out gains, sentiment fragile

* Shanghai stocks higher, blue-chips gain after Tuesday falls

* Gains in Shanghai stocks led by Shenzhen Geoway Co Ltd and losses by Xilinmen Furniture Co Ltd

* Pledged shares hobble Beijing’s attempts to stimulate market

SHANGHAI, Oct 24 (Reuters) - Shares in China struggled to emerge from a slump on Wednesday, with the country’s main stock indexes ending slightly higher, as robust earnings partly offset ongoing concerns over pledged share risks and economic growth. ** The Shanghai Composite index gave up ground after gaining 1.5 percent at midday to end up 0.33 percent at 2,603.30 points. The index had fallen 2.26 percent on Tuesday and is down 7.7 percent for the month. ** The blue-chip CSI300 index ended 0.2 percent higher after falling 2.66 percent on Tuesday, with its financial sector sub-index higher by 1.69 percent, the consumer staples sector down 2.66 percent, the real estate index up 1.17 percent and healthcare sub-index down 1.87 percent. The broader index had been up 1.8 percent at midday. ** About $620 billion worth of shares pledged as collateral for loans is hobbling Beijing’s efforts to stimulate markets, and could pose a threat to an already-slowing economy. ** However, banking shares rallied as investors saw opportunity in low valuations and a possible boost by policies to support the economy and private companies. The CSI300 banks index ended 1.92 percent higher. ** The smaller Shenzhen index ended down 0.24 percent and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was weaker by 0.616 percent. ** Shares in energy firms dropped as oil prices fell. Shanghai-listed shares of PetroChina Co Ltd ended 2.58 percent lower, and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp lost 0.96 percent. Brent crude was trading down 0.13 percent at 76.34 dollars per barrel. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.06 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 0.37 percent. ** At 07:16 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 6.939 per U.S. dollar, 0.03 percent firmer than the previous close of 6.9411. ** The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were Shenzhen Geoway Co Ltd, up 10.16 percent, followed by Shanghai Greencourt Investment Group Co Ltd , gaining 10.13 percent and Pacific Securities Co Ltd , up by 10.13 percent. ** The largest percentage losses in the Shanghai index were Xilinmen Furniture Co Ltd down 7.23 percent, followed by Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group Co Ltd losing 7.18 percent and Ningbo Fubang Jingye Group Co Ltd down by 6.73 percent. ** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is down 21.3 percent and the CSI300 has fallen 20.9 percent, while China’s H-share index listed in Hong Kong is down 12.9 percent. ** About 16.01 billion shares were traded on the Shanghai exchange, roughly 125.6 percent of the market’s 30-day moving average of 12.75 billion shares a day. The volume in the previous trading session was 17.83 billion. ** As of 07:16 GMT, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 24.19 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. ** The Shanghai stock index is below its 50-day moving average and below its 200-day moving average. ** The price-to-earnings ratio of the Shanghai index was 11.07 as of the last full trading day, while the dividend yield was 2.9 percent. ** So far this week, the market capitalisation of the Shanghai stock index has risen by 1.74 percent to 27.72 trillion yuan. (Reporting by Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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