China stocks ended higher on Monday as robust gains in consumer and healthcare firms helped the market recoup earlier losses after curbs out of Beijing weighed on the banking and property sectors.
The blue-chip CSI300 index rose 0.7 percent, to 4,020.89 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index closed up 0.5 percent at 3,388.17 points.
Consumer and health care firms led the gains with Yonghui Superstores surging 8.6 percent to a new peak, leading a 2.9 percent gain in consumer sector, while the world’s most valuable liquor maker Moutai also hit a fresh high.
An index tracking healthcare firms advanced 3.5 percent to its highest level since its launch in early 2005, led by industry bellwether Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine scaling a new peak.
“The robust gains in those sector leaders reflects a change in investing philosophy that attaches more attention to solid fundamentals,” said Yan Kaiwen, analyst with China Fortune Securities.
The change is aided in part by the participation of foreign investors, in particular the inclusion of China’s A-shares’ into an MSCI index, which is expected to bring in billions of dollars, Yan added.
Data from China’s central bank showed foreign holdings of Chinese shares exceeded 1 trillion yuan ($150.61 billion) for the first time in September, as capital market deregulation and MSCI’s China inclusion fuelled demand for select blue chips.
But the banking sector extended losses, after China’s central bank boss spelt out a strategy to prevent a future financial crisis, urging broadened equity funding and direct finance to reduce corporate leverage and eliminate “zombie” companies.
The property sector also dropped 1.7 percent, on news that Beijing had tightened controls on downpayments for home buyers and had created a new loan product aimed at renters to promote the rental housing market.
While some analysts say the crackdown over illegal funds flowing into the property market is a continuation of the existing policy, a renewed, concerted effort by government entities suggests overheating has become an increasingly serious concern.