Defense industry posts strong performance
China stocks closed mixed on Thursday, while the national defense industry posted a strong performance.
At close, the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.24 percent to 3,325.11 points, while the Shenzhen Component Index edged up 0.03 percent.
The ChiNext Composite Index startup board advanced 1.11 percent to 2,799.67 points and the blue chip CSI300 Index edged down 0.04 percent to 4,712.44 points.
Turnover on the two major bourses expanded to 1.25 trillion yuan (US$178.1 billion) from 1.2 trillion yuan on the previous trading day.
Most sectors lost with losers outnumbering gainers by 1,121 to 542 on the Shanghai bourse and 1,493 to 742 in Shenzhen. Bucking the trend, the national defense industry posted a strong performance.
Share prices in the aviation and aerospace industry surged 3.75 percent on average. Avic Shenyang Aircraft Co Ltd increased by 9.99 percent.
The shipbuilding sector, part of national defense, advanced by 6.68 percent on average, with CSSC Offshore & Marine Engineering (Group) Co Ltd and CSSC Science & Technology Co Ltd all hitting the daily limit of 10 percent.
The boom in the national defense industry was attributed to the launch of a Long March-5 rocket from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in south China's Hainan Province, carrying the country's Mars probe, Tianwen-1.
It is the first time the Long March-5 carrier rocket, currently China's largest launch vehicle, has been put into practical use after a series of trial launches.