May 11, 2020 / 7:34 AM / 16 days ago

China stocks step back as virus concerns resurface

SHANGHAI, May 11 (Reuters) - China stocks shed early gains to end a tick lower on Monday, amid renewed concerns over the coronavirus outbreak as Wuhan reported its first cluster of infections since the lockdown was lifted a month ago.

** At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was down 0.02% at 2,894.80.

** The blue-chip CSI300 index was down 0.09%, with its financial sector sub-index climbing 0.06%, the consumer staples sector dropped 0.79%, the real estate index down 0.01% and the healthcare sub-index down 1.59%.

** The smaller Shenzhen index ended down 0.24% and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was weaker by 1.055%.

** Wuhan, the epicentre of the novel coronavirus outbreak in China, reported on Monday five new confirmed cases, all of whom live in the same residential compound.

** China reported 17 new COVID-19 cases in the mainland on May 10, marking the highest daily increase since April 28.

** The country’s central bank on Sunday signalled more policy support for the economy and said it lowered interest rates on its standing lending facility (SLF) in April.

** China’s central bank said on Sunday it will step up counter-cyclical adjustments to support the economy and make monetary policy more flexible to fend off financial risks.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.79%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 1.05%.

** At 0715 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 7.0836 per U.S. dollar, 0.12% weaker than the previous close of 7.0749. (Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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