June 24 (Reuters) – China’s key stock index closed down 0.1 percent on Thursday in thin volume, after investors took quick profits from modest early gains and a technical rally in banking stocks failed to boost the broader index.
China’s benchmark Shanghai Composite Index .SSEC ended at 2,566.7 points, remaining below the psychological resistance level of 2,600 points that has capped the market during attempts to rally throughout the month.
China’s A share market has been one of the world’s worst performers this year, down nearly 22 percent, after the government unveiled a raft of policy measures to deflate speculation in the mainland’s bubbling property sector. The index is down 17 percent so far this quarter.
Banks were broadly higher, boosted after details emerged about the price range for Agricultural Bank of China’s [ABC.UL] planned mammoth initial public offering in Hong Kong and Shanghai, which were largely in line with expectations. Analysts said the added clarity helped to soothe investor jitters ahead of the large influx of shares into the Shanghai market.
The market lacked momentum for a significant rise in the near term, analysts said, as it awaited further signals on key factors that have weighed on sentiment such as property policies and the outlook for economic growth.
“Today we are just moving in a narrow range. The possibility for a break above the 2,600 level is not great,” said Zheng Weigang, senior trader at Shanghai Securities.
Losing stocks outnumbered gainers 465 to 404, while volume shrank to a 17-month low of 51 billion yuan ($7.49 billion) from Wednesday’s already light 61 billion yuan. (Reporting by Farah Master; Editing by Edmund Klamann)