December 19, 2016 / 7:17 AM / a year ago

China stocks fall after Beijing's "neutral" policy signal

SHANGHAI, Dec 19 (Reuters) - China stocks slipped on Monday, led by blue-chips, as hopes for fresh monetary stimulus dimmed after Beijing vowed to contain asset bubbles next year by keeping monetary policy “prudent and neutral”.

The blue-chip CSI300 index fell 0.5 percent, to 3,328.98 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.2 percent to 3,118.08 points.

Markets were cautious after China’s top leaders vowed over the weekend to stem asset bubbles in 2017 and place greater importance on the prevention of financial risk.

The policy signal from the economic planning meeting “disillusioned investors who had envisioned a further loosening in monetary policies. Now it’s clear that policies tend to tighten,” Wuhan-based Changjiang Securities said in a report.

Meanwhile, China’s bond market weakness persisted on Monday, deepening concerns over liquidity stress toward the year-end. The price of China’s 10-year treasury futures for March delivery was down more than 1 percent.

Most sectors lost ground, led by properties, after the sector was identified by China’s top leaders as a focus of risk control in 2017.

China Vanke, whose share price had been boosted by a heated bidding war, slumped 6.1 percent to a four-month low on Monday, amid a regulatory clampdown on “barbaric” acquisitions by insurers. Vanke is down 22 percent since the end of November.

Bucking the broader trend, consumer and transport plays gained. (Reporting by Luoyan Liu and John Ruwitch; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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