China shares snap rally as experimental vaccines stoke safety concerns

BEIJING/SHANGHAI, Sept 16 (Reuters) - China stocks snapped a three-session rally to close lower on Wednesday, with consumer and healthcare shares leading losses, as experts were concerned over the safety of drugs used in experimental coronavirus vaccines in the country. ** At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was down 0.36% at 3,283.92. ** The blue-chip CSI300 index was down 0.66%, with its financial sector sub-index slipping 0.23%, while the real estate index closed 1% firmer.

** Healthcare and consumer shares fell, with the consumer staples sector losing 1.81% and the healthcare sub-index down 1.83%. ** Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group Co dropped 5% to the lowest in nearly two months, while index heavyweight Kweichow Moutai shed 1.9%. ** The smaller Shenzhen index ended down 0.91% and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was weaker by 1.555%. ** China is inoculating tens of thousands of its citizens with experimental vaccines. Aiming to reduce the likelihood of a resurgence, the vaccines are also grabbing attention in the global scramble by governments to secure supplies, potentially helping reframe China’s perceived role in the pandemic.

** Bucking the trend, shares of auto-related firms rose with BYD Co, which manufactures electric buses that are sold in the United States, hitting a record high in Shenzhen on robust foreign inflows via the Stock Connect. Fuyao Glass Industry Group Co, which also runs a factory in the United States, ended at an all-time high. ** The World Trade Organization found on Tuesday that the United States had breached global trading rules by imposing multi-billion dollar tariffs in President Donald Trump’s trade war with China, a ruling that drew anger from Washington.

** Shares of Zhejiang Dahua Technology Co closed 6.4% lower after rising up to 4% earlier in the session. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and China Mobile Communications Group Co are considering investing $443 mln in Dahua, three people with knowledge of the matter said. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.65%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 0.09%. ** At 0702 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 6.7704 per U.S. dollar, 0.17% firmer than the previous close of 6.7818. (Reporting by Zhang Yan in Beijing and Andrew Galbraith in Shanghai, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)