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China shares slip as material, energy shares drop on profit-booking

* SSEC -0.5%, CSI300 -0.4%

* HK->Shanghai Connect daily quota used 4.9%, Shanghai->HK daily quota used 3.9%

* FTSE China A50 -0.4%

BEIJING/SHANGHAI, Dec 29 (Reuters) - China stocks ended lower on Tuesday, dragged down by materials and energy shares, as investors took profits following a recent rally fuelled by Beijing pledging more policy support. ** At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was down 0.54% at 3,379.04, while the blue-chip CSI300 index was down 0.42%. ** Several sub-indexes recorded losses, with the material sub-index dropping 1.75%, while energy and manufacturing sector slipping by 1.73% and 1.35%, respectively.

** The smaller Shenzhen index ended down 0.64% and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was weaker by 1.05%.

** The recent rally offered an opportunity for investors to take profits before the year-end, but continued policy support expressed in the latest economic working conference, and signs of economic recovery will back the performance in a long run, said Zhang Qi, an analyst with Haitong Securities.

** China’s factory activity likely maintained a solid pace of expansion in December, a Reuters poll showed, as the world’s second-largest economy steadily recovers from the coronavirus crisis.

** China is scheduled to release its official manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) on Thursday.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.18%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 2.66%. (Reporting by Cheng Leng in Beijing, Luoyan Liu and Andrew Galbraith in Shanghai; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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