January 16, 2017 / 7:15 AM / 2 years ago

China stocks fall for 5th session, pressured by tech stocks

SHANGHAI, Jan 16 (Reuters) - China’s main indexes fell for the fifth straight session on Monday, led by tech stocks as investors grew gloomy about 2017 prospects following comments by the premier and official estimates suggesting slowing economic growth in big cities.

The blue-chip CSI300 index was unchanged at 3,319.45 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.3 percent to 3,103.43 points.

The tech-heavy ChiNext Price Index, the benchmark index tracking listed start-up companies, slumped as much as 6.1 percent in its 8th session of losses to hit a 16-month low, as faster approvals for IPOs increased the supply of equity in the market.

The start-up index closed 3.6 percent lower, within sight of lows plumbed during the market crash in 2015.

In remarks reported by state media on Sunday, Premier Li Keqiang said China’s economy will face more pressure and problems in 2017, with changes in global politics and challenges to economic rules adding to uncertainty.

Official estimates issued on Friday said economic growth in some of the largest cities was expected to have slowed in 2016 and would continue to decelerate in 2017.

Li Zheming, analyst at Datong Securities in Dalian, said market turnover remained subdued despite 2017’s firm start, as investors were reluctant to buy risky assets amid concerns on the path of U.S. interest rates this year and uncertainties under policies to be followed by Donald Trump.

Most sectors lost ground, led by properties and consumer shares. Nearly 100 smaller-cap stocks tumbled 10 percent, the maximum allowed.

China’s Leshi Information reversed its earlier gains to close 1.1 percent lower in volatile trading as the company gets fresh investment from strategic investors. (Reporting by Luoyan Liu and John Ruwitch; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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