Banking sector gains buoy Chinese equity markets
Chinese stocks edged up on Monday, with the banking sector doing most of the lifting in an otherwise down day.
At the close of market hours, the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index added 0.25 percent to 2,815.49 points, while the smaller Shenzhen Component Index increased by 0.74 percent to 10,452.17 points. The blue chip CSI300 Index advanced 0.68 percent to 3,822.77 points.
Turnover on the two major bourses came in at 556.6 billion yuan (US$78.52 billion), down from 625.2 billion yuan in the previous trading session.
Foreign buying remained robust, with Chinese mainland markets seeing a 5.39-billion-yuan net inflow of overseas capital via Stock Connect schemes linking Shanghai and Shenzhen with Hong Kong.
Most sectors lost, with losers outnumbering gainers by 965 to 621 on the Shanghai bourse and 1,442 to 751 in Shenzhen. An impressive 1.91 percent surge in the banking sector helped bolster the market, with all 36 domestically listed banks posting gains on the day.
Qingdao Rural Commercial Bank Corporation hit the daily 10 percent limit. Bank of Ningbo Co Ltd and China Merchants Bank Co Ltd all increased over 3 percent.
Supportive policies, traditional infrastructure building and new infrastructure featuring high technology will likely increase in the second quarter, giving a lift to the economy, according to China Merchants Securities. Overseas market demand will improve as the epidemic eases in the second quarter, it added.
Agriculture, consumption, and medical equipment shares also gained. The semi-conductor, automobile and defense industries suffered the biggest losses of the day.