China stocks end the week flat as volumes keep sliding
SHANGHAI, Sept 25 (Reuters) - China stocks fell on Friday, led by a selloff in small caps, as the main indexes ended the week roughly flat in shrinking trading volume.
The CSI300 index of the largest listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen fell 1.6 percent, to 3,231.95, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 1.6 percent, to 3,092.35 points.
Analysts said the market was still seeking a bottom as Chinese investors continued to digest mixed signs on company performance.
During the week, a preliminary results of a purchasing managers' survey showed China's industrial activity at its weakest level since 2009, heightening concerns about the global economy, but a rise in home prices for a fourth consecutive month was more reassuring.
Weekly volumes have fallen nearly 80 percent from their July peak and averages remain on a downward trajectory as investors wait for signs of direction.
The volatile ChiNext Growth Board, dominated by small caps, saw a sharp selloff on Friday and was down 5 percent at one point but remained up for the week. Analysts attributed the fall to profit-taking.
China CSI300 stock index futures for October fell over 2 percent, to 3,114.4, below the current value of the underlying index. But volumes have evaporated since a crackdown on "malicious" short-selling using futures.
"Offshore markets were also weak today," noted analyst Zhang Qi of Haitong Securities in Shanghai, saying this helped explain falls for the key mainland indexes.
"The market's condition is still weak and the correction trend should have a little further to run," he added.
Zhang predicted the SSEC would continue to test levels below 3,000 for the near term. (Reporting by Pete Sweeney and Samuel Shen; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)
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