Stocks mixed on mixed news

Worse-than-expected preliminary company results continue to weigh on the market.

Chinese stock markets posted mixed results yesterday following the overnight announcement of draft rules for a new tech board and the latest official data for the country’s manufacturing sector.

The Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.35 percent or 8.99 points to finish the day at 2,584.57.

The Shenzhen Component Index rose 0.12 percent to close at 7,479.22 points, while the Nasdaq-style ChiNext enterprise board edged down 0.23 percent to 1,227.99 points.

Lifted by the Securities Regulatory Commission's draft rules for the new technology innovation board on late Wednesday, the A-share market opened higher.

The new tech board will mainly host companies in technology and emerging sectors such as high-tech equipment manufacturing, new energy and biomedicine.

And the move will be conducive to optimizing China’s multi-tiered capital market system and enhancing its capability to serve the real economy, said the Shanghai Stock Exchange on its website.

Strong gains in securities brokers and banks pushed a rally of as much as 1.2 percent of the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index during the morning trading session.

But the three major indexes dived during the afternoon session and 200 listed firms saw their shares plunge by the daily limit of 10 percent.

The negative sentiment in the market could be mainly attributed to the poor earnings results announced preliminarily by the listed corporations, analysts said, as Thursday is the deadline for the companies to do so according to the exchange regulator’s requirements.

The market movements also came after China's official data showed that manufacturing activity in January contracted for the second consecutive month.

The manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index — a widely-watched indicator — for January stood at 49.5, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, higher than the reading of 49.4 recorded in last December.

A reading above 50 signals expansion, while one below 50 represents contraction.

Meanwhile, China's services PMI for January came in at 54.7, which was better than the 53.8 reported in the previous month, official data indicated.

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