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China stocks fall on Sino-U.S. tensions, new virus strain

SHANGHAI, Dec 22 (Reuters) - China stocks ended lower on Tuesday, falling the most in nearly four months on concerns over persisting Sino-U.S. tensions and a more contagious new strain of the coronavirus found in the UK hurting swift global economic recovery.

** Countries across the globe shut their borders to Britain on Monday due to fears about a highly infectious new coronavirus strain.

** At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was down 1.86% at 3,356.78, its biggest one-day percentage drop since Sept. 3, and the blue-chip CSI300 index closing 1.63% lower in its worst session since Oct. 30.

** The smaller Shenzhen index ended down 1.73%, while the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was 2.453% lower.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.48%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 1.04%.

** Energy shares led the losses. Anhui Hengyuan Coal Industry and Electricity Power Co Ltd hit its daily downward trading limit, while Huolinhe Opencut Coal Industry Corp Ltd of Inner Mongolia, Shanxi Coking Coal Energy Group Co Ltd and China Shenhua Energy Company Ltd closed more than 5% lower.

** However, disposable sanitary product manufacturers soared as China looked to strengthen measures to prevent the arrival of such a new strain of the coronavirus. Xiamen Yanjan New Material Co Ltd was up 20%, and Tianjin TEDA CO Ltd hit its daily upward trading limit.

** The Trump administration on Monday published a list of Chinese and Russian companies with alleged military ties that restrict them from buying a wide range of U.S. goods and technology.

** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is up 10.1% and the CSI300 has risen 21.2%, while China’s H-share index listed in Hong Kong is down 7.4%. Shanghai stocks have declined 1.03% this month. (Reporting by Winni Zhou and Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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