Construction stocks shine as markets drift lower

Yuan Luhang
Major indices lost ground on Thursday, although cement and building materials shares managed to buck the trend.
Yuan Luhang

China stocks dipped on Thursday, although cement and building materials shares gained considerably.

At the close of market hours, the Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.23 percent after jumping more than 2 percent in the previous session. The smaller Shenzhen Component Index lost 0.67 percent.

The bluechip index CSI300 was trading 0.49 percent lower at 4,656.15 points. Meanwhile, the tech-heavy startup board ChiNext Composite Index lost 0.73 percent.

The STAR 50 Index, which tracks the 50 biggest and most representative companies listed on the tech-heavy STAR Market for more than six months, edged down 0.28 percent after surging 5.5 percent on Wednesday.

Turnover on the two major bourses expanded to 1.09 trillion yuan (US$155.4 billion). Chinese mainland markets saw a net outflow of 4.24 billion yuan in overseas capital via Stock Connect schemes linking Shanghai and Shenzhen with Hong Kong.

Leading the gains, Chinese cement and building materials stocks surged with share prices in the sector up 2.07 percent on average. Jiangxi Wannianqing Cement Co Ltd hit the daily limit of 10 percent.

In its latest strategy report, UBS China's research team identified some sectors that could outperform the broader market despite rising Sino-US tensions. These include premium beer makers, leading construction firms, infrastructure companies and Chinese players in Apple’s supply chain.

Shipbuilders and precious metals companies suffered the day's biggest losses.

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