February 8, 2018 / 7:21 AM / a year ago

Shanghai stocks plumb six-month low as investors sell blue chips

* Shanghai stocks lower, blue-chip CSI300 index down

* Gains in Shanghai stocks led by MeiDu Energy Corp and losses by Routon Electronic Co Ltd

* China’s A-shares are at a 31.24 percent premium over H-shares

SHANGHAI, Feb 8 (Reuters) - China stocks ended lower to post a third consecutive session of losses on Thursday, with the benchmark Shanghai index hitting a six-month low, even as data showed the country’s trade performance in January exceeded expectations.

Investors dumped blue chips, including energy and banking firms, as well as infrastructure and property companies.

An index tracking the 50 most representative blue-chips in Shanghai, dubbed China’s “nifty 50”, dropped 2.8 percent. On Wednesday, the index posted its biggest single-day percentage loss in two years. ** China’s January trade growth easily beat market expectations, with exports rising 11.1 percent year-on-year and imports surging 36.9 percent, customs data showed on Thursday. ** At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was down 47.11 points or 1.42 percent at 3,262.15. ** The blue-chip CSI300 index was down 0.96 percent. Its financial sector sub-index fell 2.61 percent, the consumer staples sector was up 1.67 percent, the real estate index fell 1.59 percent and healthcare sub-index was up 1.31 percent. ** The smaller Shenzhen index ended 1.18 percent higher and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index rose 1.55 percent. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was 0.21 percent firmer while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 1.13 percent. ** At 07:04 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 6.335 per U.S. dollar, 0.83 percent weaker than the previous close of 6.283. ** The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were MeiDu Energy Corp up 10.13 percent, followed by Jiangsu Jiangnan High Polymer Fiber Co Ltd gaining 10.05 percent and Sichuan Western Resources Holding Co Ltd up by 9.96 percent. ** The largest percentage losses in the Shanghai index were Routon Electronic Co Ltd down 10.02 percent, followed by Zhonglu Co Ltd down10.01 percent and China South Publishing & Media Group Co Ltd down 9.99 percent. ** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is up 0.06 percent, the CSI300 is down 0.5 percent this year, while China’s H-share index listed in Hong Kong is up 6.2 percent. Shanghai stocks have declined 4.93 percent this month. ** About 20.13 billion shares were traded on the Shanghai exchange, roughly 92.8 percent of the market’s 30-day moving average of 21.68 billion shares a day. The volume in the previous trading session was 26.09 billion. ** As of 07:05 GMT, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 31.24 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 15.27 as of the last full trading day while the dividend yield was 1.9 percent. ** So far this week, the market capitalisation of the Shanghai stock index has fallen by 4.26 percent to 29.36 trillion yuan. (Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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