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China stocks subdued as consumer gains counter losses in drugmakers
Thursday, June 24, 2021       15:19 WIB

SHANGHAI, June 24 (Reuters) - China shares ended slightly higher on Thursday, as gains in consumer and new energy companies countered losses in healthcare companies, which were hit by worries of a slump in drug prices.
The blue-chip CSI300 index gained 0.2% at 5,155.97, while the Shanghai Composite Index was unchanged at 3,566.65.
The CSI300 healthcare index led declines, with a 1.7% fall, after price plunges were shown in the results of the fifth national government-backed drug bulk-buy program.
* The average price cut was 56% among the 251 products for 61 types of medicines included in the list of preliminary bid winners, state news agency Xinhua said in a report.
Drugmaker Hengrui, Asymchem Laboratories Tianjin Co Ltd and Bloomage Biotechnology Corp Ltd fell between 4.4% and 5.5%.
Investors need to pay more attention to drugmakers' overall strength given a normalised bulk-buy mechanism, TF Securities said in a report, adding that bigger-than-expected price declines would be a risk for firms going forward.
Helping the market, the CSI300 consumer staples index and the CSI new energy index rose 0.9% and 0.8%, respectively.
China's monthly producer price index (PPI) is likely to rise 10% in June, piling pressure on downstream consumers, a senior official of China's banking and insurance watchdog told a forum in Beijing on Thursday.
The Biden administration ordered a ban on U.S. imports of a key solar panel material from Chinese-based Hoshine Silicon Industry Co over forced labour allegations, said two sources briefed on the matter.
Hoshine Silicon closed down 7.2% after the ban.
The pricing department of China's National Development and Reform Commission ( NDRC ) and the country's market regulator have sent teams to various Chinese provinces and cities to investigate bulk commodity prices and supplies.
The A-share resource industries index slipped 0.3% after the news. (Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)

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