China stocks end lower on soft bank lending, Sino-U.S. tensions | Reuters

China stocks ended lower on Thursday after the country’s latest bank lending data missed forecasts, and as Sino-U.S. tensions weighed.

** The blue-chip CSI300 index fell 1.0% to 4,992.97, while the Shanghai Composite Index shed 1% to 3,429.54 points.

** Chinese banks extended 1.47 trillion yuan ($227.91 billion) in new yuan loans in April, down from March, missing analysts’ expectations.

** Analysts polled by Reuters had predicted new yuan loans would drop to 1.6 trillion yuan in April, down from 2.73 trillion yuan in the previous month and 1.7 trillion yuan a year earlier.

** The trend of China’s credit “shift” is continuing, as Beijing targets to stabilize macro leverage ratio for the full-year target, Haitong Securities noted in a report.

** Tensions between Beijing and Washington added to the pressure.

** The Chinese government has turned its western Xinjiang province into essentially an “open-air prison”, a U.S. State Department official said on Wednesday as the department published a report that criticized China’s treatment of religious minorities.

** Materials stocks slid, with the CSI300 materials index closing 4.2% lower, posting its worst day since March 24.

** China will monitor changes in overseas and domestic markets and effectively cope with a fast increase in commodity prices, the state council said on Wednesday.

** Foreign investors retreated on Thursday as risk appetite fell, selling a net 3.4 billion yuan worth of A-shares via the Stock Connect linking mainland and Hong Kong, according to Refinitiv data.

** Bucking the broad weakness, shares of traditional Chinese medicine makers rose, aided by report of Beijing’s support for the sector.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 1.16%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed 2.49% lower.

** At 07:04 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 6.4512 per U.S. dollar, 0.1% firmer than the previous close of 6.4575. $1 = 6.4499 Chinese yuan renminbi Reporting by Luoyan Liu and Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi

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