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China healthcare, consumer shares fuel strong rally

SHANGHAI, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Shanghai stocks ended higher on Tuesday, extending a previous session’s rally, helped by strong gains in healthcare and consumer stocks.

** At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was up 0.36% at 3,451.09, while the blue-chip CSI300 index slipped 0.05%.

** The tech-heavy start-up board ChiNext added 0.2%, while the STAR50 index firmed 1.1%.

** Leading the advance, the CSI300 consumer staples index rose 0.9%, having gained 46% so far this year, while the CSI300 healthcare index increased 1.4% as investors cheered the progress in the COVID-19 vaccine development.

** Russia’s Petrovax has started a late-stage trial of a COVID-19 candidate vaccine from CanSino Biologics Inc, in the country, records show, as the Chinese drug firm steps up testing abroad to close in on regulatory approval.

** The modest gains came after Monday’s strong rally, as investors turned to financial and other traditional players with low valuations on more signs of economic recovery.

** The benchmark Shanghai index could break through its resistance area given the active trading, and as investors seek opportunities in banking, real estate and construction stocks with low valuations for the short term, Yin Yue, analyst with Yuekai Securities said in a report.

** He noted PBOC’s medium-term loans injection on Monday also alleviated market concerns over the tightening of liquidity following more signs of economic recovery.

** Bucking the broad strength, Huawei suppliers fell as the U.S. tightened restrictions on the Chinese tech giant.

** The Trump administration on Monday moved to crack down on Huawei Technologies Co’s access to commercially available chips.

** Ramped-up U.S. restrictions are likely to cut off the Chinese smartphone maker’s access to even off-the-shelf chips and disrupt the global tech supply chain once again, executives and experts cautioned. (Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

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