China stocks end mixed after trade data

SHANGHAI, June 7 (Reuters) - China’s major stock indexes closed mixed on Monday, as investors reacted to the nation’s latest trade data.

** The blue-chip CSI300 index fell 0.1% to 5,277.63, while the Shanghai Composite Index 0.2% to 3,599.54.

** Shenzhen’s start-up board ChiNext declined 1.2%, and Shanghai’s tech-focused STAR50 index slipped 0.2%.

** China’s imports grew at their fastest pace in 10 years in May, fuelled by surging commodity prices, while export growth missed expectations, likely weighed by disruptions caused by COVID-19 cases at major ports in the country’s south.

** “Exports surprised a bit on the downside, maybe due to the COVID cases in Guangdong province which slowed down the turnover in Shenzhen and Guangzhou ports,” said Zhiwei Zhang, chief economist at Pinpoint Asset Management.

** Indexes have been moving in narrow ranges recently, as they hover near a three-month high, while analysts said there was a lack of factors that could further push the market higher.

** The market would remain rangebound in the short term, as there is no force that could substantially change the balance for now, Zhu Zhiyong, an analyst with Aijian Securities, said in a note.

** Zhu noted investors should be wary of risks for sectors and stocks that face pressure in terms of earnings and valuations as company will report interim results.

** Leading the decline among sectors, the CSI new energy index dropped 1.8%, with bellwether CATL down 5.7% on expectations of more equity supply.

** Birth- and fertility-related companies also retreated, after Moody’s said China’s new policy allowing couples to have up to three children was unlikely to dramatically change national birthrate.

** Foreign investors became net sellers on Monday, selling a total of 1.4 billion yuan ($218.77 million) worth of A-shares via the Stock Connect linking mainland and Hong Kong, according to Refinitiv data. ($1 = 6.3995 Chinese yuan renminbi)

Reporting by Luoyan Liu and Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Rashmi Aich