China stocks end lower as surge in global virus cases weigh

SHANGHAI, Sept 22 (Reuters) - China stocks closed lower on Tuesday as material and transport firms dropped following worries about surge in global cases of the novel coronavirus.

** The blue-chip CSI300 index ended 1.2% lower at 4,635.76 and the Shanghai Composite Index 1.3% at 3,274.30. The CSI300 materials index and the CSI300 transport index dropped 2.9% and 3%, respectively.

** New pandemic measures in the UK set off declines in airline, hotel and cruise companies in both European and U.S. markets, spurring fears about further restrictions.

** Concerns over Sino-U.S. tensions also dented sentiment.

** Beijing is unlikely to approve an “unfair” deal Oracle Corp and Walmart Inc said they have struck with ByteDance over the future of video-streaming app TikTok, state-backed newspaper Global Times said in an editorial.

** Among sectors, only securities firms gained as investors cheered latest consolidation in the industry.

** The Guolian-Sinolink merger could help consolidate financial resources and promote healthy development of the securities industry, analysts at Guosen Securities said in a report.

** Consumer shares erased earlier gains though losses were narrower than other sectors.

** China’s cabinet on Monday issued guidelines to boost new types of consumption, including online shopping and payments, in a bid to support the recovery of the economy.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 1.26%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 0.18%.

** At 0729 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 6.7926 per U.S. dollar, 0.17% firmer than the previous close of 6.8044.

** As of 0730 GMT, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 46.80% over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. (Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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