China stock indexes dip despite surge in property shares
SHANGHAI Dec 15 (Reuters) - China stocks ended slightly lower on Tuesday, with a correction in banking and resource shares countering a surge in property firms that was triggered by hopes of more support measures for the real estate market.
The CSI300 index of the largest listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen fell 0.5 percent to 3,694.39 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.3 percent to 3,510.35 points.
Chinese leaders, meeting ahead of an agenda-setting conference, pledged on Monday to keep the country's economic growth in a "reasonable range" in 2016 by expanding domestic demand and making supply-side improvements.
A Reuters poll taken over the past week showed analysts expect the Shanghai Composite Index to rise to 3,600 by the middle of next year before adding 8 percent to end 2016 at 3,900.
Property stocks surged as the government vowed to take more steps next year to help companies lower costs, tackle high inventories of unsold homes and ward off financial risks. An index tracking the sector jumped 3.1 percent.
"An important step towards normalising the economy is having a stable property sector so it is likely a high-priority item for the authorities," wrote Gerry Alfonso, director at Shenwan Hongyuan Securities Co.
But banking, infrastructure and resource shares fell as investors took profits after the previous day's sharp rally. (Reporting by Samuel Shen and Pete Sweeney; Editing by Kim Coghill)
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