October 20, 2017 / 7:20 AM / a year ago

Shanghai stocks end week lower amid signs of slowing growth

SHANGHAI, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Shanghai stocks eked out modest gains on Friday but ended the week lower, amid concerns China’s economy is losing momentum after official data showed growth slowing in the third quarter and property sales softening.

The Shanghai Composite Index added 0.3 percent to 3,378.65 points while the blue-chip CSI300 index fell 0.1 percent to 3,926.85 points.

For the week, CSI300 was up 0.2 percent, while SSEC lost 0.4 percent.

Investor sentiment was rattled on Thursday by People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan’s warning about asset bubbles in the world’s second-largest economy. However, stocks regained some of these losses on Friday as market participants described the previous session’s market reaction as overdone.

Zhang Yidong, strategist at Chinese brokerage Industrial Securities, wrote in a report that Zhou’s reference to a “Minsky moment” was part of his analysis of systemic financial risk, and not about China’s current economic state.

China’s economic growth slowed slightly in the third quarter, as expected, as the government’s efforts to rein in property market and debt risks tempered activity in the economy.

China’s president Xi Jinping said China would deepen economic and financial reforms and further open its markets to foreign investors as it looked to move from high-speed to high-quality growth.

But investors were circumspect after policymakers speaking on the sidelines of the 19th Communist Party congress in Beijing vowed to keep financial regulation tight in a bid to ward off potential instability.

UBS economist Wang Tao expected Beijing to publish more measures in the future to rein in risks in areas such as shadow banking, potentially slowing credit and economic growth.

For the week, consumer and healthcare firms far outperformed the broader market, both up 3 more than 3 percent, as investors sought shelter in those defensive play.

Resources and real estate stocks lagged behind, after data showed property sales in China dropped for the first time in more than two-and-half years in September and housing starts slowed sharply. (Reporting by Luoyan Liu and John Ruwitch; Editing by Sam Holmes)

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