China stocks end lower on profit-taking in high-value healthcare and tech stocks

* SSEC -1.24%, CSI300 -1.5%

* Healthcare and tech stocks fall on profit-taking

* Sino-U.S. trade talk delay sinks sentiment

BEIJING, Aug 19 (Reuters) – Shanghai stocks ended lower on Wednesday after three consecutive sessions of gains, as investors took profits in healthcare and technology stocks with hefty valuations while a trade talk delay with U.S. also dampened sentiment.

** At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was down 1.24% at 3,408.13. ** The blue-chip CSI300 index was down 1.5%, with its financial sector sub-index lower by 1.63%, the consumer staples sector down 0.41%, the real estate index down 1.33%. ** The healthcare sub-index ended down 3.26% while the tech sector shed 2.9%. ** The smaller Shenzhen index ended down 1.95% and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was weaker by 3.266%.

** “We can see investors are shifting to value stocks with lower valuations while some tech and health care stocks are being sold on concerns over lofty valuations,” said Fu Yanping, analyst with China Galaxy Securities. ** Start-up board led the declines today, as investors are awaiting the market reaction as new listings will soon debut under a new IPO system which will see stocks rising or falling by 20% in a session, Fu added.

** The delay of high-level trade talks on the implementation of a U.S.-China Phase 1 deal also weighed on market sentiment. White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said no new talks have been scheduled.

** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is up 11.7% and the CSI300 has risen 15.7%, while China’s H-share index listed in Hong Kong is down 7.8%. Shanghai stocks have risen 2.96% this month.

** As of 07:03 GMT, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 36.51% over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.42%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 0.26%. ** At 07:02 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 6.9205 per U.S. dollar, 0.02% firmer than the previous close of 6.9222. (Reporting by Zhang Yan in Beijing, Luoyan Liu and Andrew Galbraith in Shanghai; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

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