China shares slump as COVID-19 cases surge
Thursday, January 14, 2021       14:56 WIB

SHANGHAI, Jan 14 (Reuters) - China's blue-chip index slumped on Thursday, moving further away from a 13-year closing high earlier this week, as the country reported its biggest jump in COVID-19 cases in more than 10 months.
At the close, the blue-chip CSI300 index was down 1.93%, its biggest daily fall since Sept. 9. The Shanghai Composite index fell 0.91%.
COVID-19 infections in China's northeastern Heilongjiang province nearly tripled, underscoring the growing threat ahead of a major national holiday when hundreds of millions of people usually travel.
More than 28 million people are already under lockdown in Heilongjiang province and Hebei province, surrounding Beijing.
Consumer firms led losses, with the consumer staples sector down 2.42%. Distiller Wuliangye Yibin Co Ltd tumbled 5.22% after touching a record high last week and surging more than 119% in 2020.
The financial sector sub-index lost 1.17% and the healthcare sub-index slumped 1.8%. But stronger import growth figures for December underscored China's robust domestic recovery, while exports grew more than expected as global coronavirus disruptions fuelled demand for Chinese goods.
The smaller Shenzhen index ended down 1.42% and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was weaker by 1.314%. Around the region, MSCI 's Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.68%, while Japan's Nikkei index closed up 0.85%.
At 0703 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 6.4693 per U.S. dollar, 0.02% weaker than the previous close of 6.4681. Even after the drop on Thursday, the CSI300 is up 5% so far this year and the Shanghai stock index is up 2.7%. China's H-share index listed in Hong Kong is up 5.2%.
Shortly after the market close, China's A-shares were trading at a premium of 37.03% over Hong Kong-listed H-shares. (Reporting by Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)

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