China blue-chip shares end higher on healthcare, banking gains | Reuters

China shares ended higher on Wednesday with healthcare and banking stocks leading the gains, following upbeat quarterly earnings reports. ** The Shanghai Composite index closed flat at 3,472.93, while the blue-chip CSI300 index was up 0.3%. ** The blue-chip’s banking sector sub-index was higher by 1.79%, and the healthcare sub-index up 2.19%. ** Lenders gained after some banks posted upbeat quarterly results. ** Shenzhen shares in Ping An Bank Co Ltd rose by 6.09% to 23.01 yuan, posting its best daily performance since March 3. ** The bank posted a 18.5% jump in net profit in the January-March quarter. ** The smaller Shenzhen index ended up 0.22% and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was higher by 0.721%. ** The sector’s performance also shrugged off overnight comments from a senior banking regulator, who urged banks to prepare for a rebound in bad loans and fully evaluate such risks. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 1.06%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 2.03%. ** So far this week, the market capitalisation of the Shanghai stock index has risen by 1.33% to 40.64 trillion yuan. (Reporting by Cheng Leng in Beijing, Luoyan Liu and Andrew Galbraith in Shanghai; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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