SHANGHAI, Oct 26 (Reuters) - China stocks ended lower on Monday, dragged down by the consumer sector after the country’s largest liquor maker Kweichow Moutai posted slower-than-expected growth in quarterly profit. ** At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was down 0.82% at 3,251.12, while the blue-chip CSI300 index was down 0.58%. ** The consumer staples sector fell 1.35%. Kweichow Moutai Co Ltd dropped as much as 6.7% after the company said its net profit grew 6.9% to 11.2 billion yuan ($1.67 billion) in the third quarter, missing analysts’ estimates.
** The smaller Shenzhen index ended up 0.46% and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was higher by 0.65%.
** Investors’ focus is on a key policy meeting this week, starting Monday, where China’s top leaders will chart the country’s economic course for 2021-2025, seeking to balance growth and reforms to avoid stagnation.
** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was little changed, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 0.09%.
** The largest percentage losses in the Shanghai index were Jinhui Liquor Co Ltd down 9.99%, followed by FuJian YanJing HuiQuan Brewery Co Ltd losing 9.97% and Everbright Securities Co Ltd down by 9.94%. ($1 = 6.6876 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Winni Zhou and Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Aditya Soni)