October 17, 2018 / 7:17 AM / 4 months ago

China stocks end higher led by infrastructure and utilities

* Shanghai stocks higher, blue-chip CSI300 index up

* Gains in Shanghai stocks led by Cultural Investment Holdings Co

* China’s A-shares at 23 pct premium to H-shares

SHANGHAI, Oct 17 (Reuters) - China stocks managed closed firmer on Wednesday, aided by gains in shares of infrastructure and utilities firms. ** The blue-chip CSI300 index ended 0.6 percent higher at 3,118.25 points while the Shanghai Composite Index also gained 0.6 percent to 2,561.61 points. ** Most sectors gained, led by infrastructure and utilities firms. ** However, healthcare firms extended losses as investors fretted over potential fallout from a vaccine scandal at Changsheng Bio-technology, with the index tracking major healthcare firms shedding as much as 2.1 percent to a 13-month low. ** The unit of Changsheng Bio-technology, Changchun Changsheng Life Sciences Ltd, has been hit with penalties totalling 9.1 billion yuan ($1.31 billion) after it was embroiled in a scandal over falsifying data for a rabies vaccine. ** “From a long-term perspective, many stocks now are very cheap, though it’s hard to say when the market will bottom out,” said Yan Kaiwen, an analyst at China Fortune Securities. ** The stock connect program linking Hong Kong and mainland is closed on Wednesday for a holiday in Hong Kong. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.56 percent while Japan’s Nikkei index closed 1.29 percent higher. ** At 07:01 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 6.9213 per U.S. dollar, 0.03 percent weaker than the previous close of 6.9192. ** The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were Cultural Investment Holdings Co Ltd, up 10.12 percent, followed by Hna Innovation Co Ltd, up 10.11 percent and Easy Visible Supply Chain Management Co Ltd , up 10.07 percent. ** The largest percentage losers in the Shanghai index were Danhua Chemical Technology Co Ltd, down 10.07 percent, followed by Jiangsu Provincial Agricultural Reclamation and Development Co Ltd, down 10.05 percent and Orient International Enterprise Ltd, down 10.03 percent. ** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is down 22.5 percent and the CSI300 has fallen 22.6 percent. Shanghai stocks have declined 9.21 percent this month. ** About 13.00 billion shares were traded on the Shanghai exchange, roughly 109.3 percent of the market’s 30-day moving average of 11.89 billion shares a day. The volume in the previous trading session was 11.94 billion. ** As of 07:02 GMT, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 23.00 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. ** The Shanghai stock index is below its 50-day and 200-day moving averages. ** The price-to-earnings ratio of the Shanghai index was 10.92 as of the last full trading day, while the dividend yield was 2.9 percent. ($1 = 6.9217 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Vyas Mohan)

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