SHANGHAI, July 17 (Reuters) - Shanghai shares managed to end higher on Friday, but still suffered their worst weekly drop in five months, as China’s better-than-expected GDP data fuelled worries over the pace of policy easing, while foreign investors cashed in after a bull run.
** At close, the blue-chip CSI300 index was up 0.6% to 4,544.70 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index had added 0.1% for 3,214.13 points.
** For the week, the SSEC was down 5%, its steepest drop since the week of Feb. 28, while CSI300 retreated 4.4%, its worst since March.
** China stocks posted their biggest fall in more than five months on Thursday, as investors cooled a buying spree on worries of policy tightening after economic growth in the second quarter beat expectations.
** “The pace of policy loosening will be slower, as policymakers observe how the job and financial markets perform and decide what steps to take next,” said Zhaopeng Xing, markets economist at ANZ in Shanghai.
** However, analysts and fund managers said the slump did not mark the end of the bull run and could offer good opportunities to buy on the dip.
** “The bull run is yet to finish, as Thursday’s retreat was just a technical correction following a robust rally recently,” said Ma Manran, chairman of Beijing Ma Manran Asset Management Company.
** “Worries over the pace of the country’s policy easing are one of the factors behind the drop on Thursday, but are not sufficient to change the rising trend in the market,” he said.
** Dampening sentiment for blue-chips on Thursday, liquor giant Moutai’s shares slumped 7.9%, their worst session since Oct. 29, 2018, after an article by a WeChat account owned by the People’s Daily stated that “Moutai is for drinking, not for speculating”.
** The recent substantial outflows via the Stock Connect quickly curbed sentiment, while SMIC’s Shanghai debut brought a “siphon effect” and led to profit-taking in related tech sectors, analysts at Bohai Securities noted in report.
** In a record day of selling, foreign investors on Tuesday sold a net 17.4 billion yuan ($2.49 billion) worth of A-shares via the Stock Connect linking Hong Kong and the mainland. Their net selling totalled 27 billion yuan in the three sessions through Thursday, reversing a robust buying streak in recent weeks and months.
($1 = 6.9979 Chinese yuan renminbi)
Reporting by Luoyan Liu, Tom Westbrook and Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Kevin Liffey