China stocks end lower as high-flying consumer shares retreat

SHANGHAI, Sept 3- China stocks ended lower on Thursday, as investors pulled out of high-flying consumer firms on worries over lofty valuations, while Sino- U.S. tensions also dented sentiment, outweighing optimism stemming from upbeat services sector data. **The CSI300 healthcare index shed 0.6%, with Zhangzhou Pientzehuang Pharmaceutical pulling back from a…

SHANGHAI, Sept 3 (Reuters) – China stocks ended lower on

Thursday, as investors pulled out of high-flying consumer firms

on worries over lofty valuations, while Sino-U.S. tensions also

dented sentiment, outweighing optimism stemming from upbeat

services sector data.

** The blue-chip CSI300 index fell 0.6%, to4,817.10, while the Shanghai Composite Index eased0.6%to 3,384.98.

** The tech-heavy start-up board ChiNext slipped0.9%, while the STAR50 index dropped 1.5%.

** Selling intensified in the afternoon, as investorsretreated from leading consumers firms following stellar gainsin recent weeks.

** The CSI300 consumers staples index endeddown 0.4%, with bellwether Foshan Haitian Flavouringslumping 6.5% after hitting an all-time high in morning trade.

** The CSI300 healthcare index shed 0.6%, withZhangzhou Pientzehuang Pharmaceutical pulling backfrom a record high to close 2.5% lower.

** “We had been strongly recommending consumer firmsincluding liquor makers and flavouring firms for quite a longtime, though we now no longer sing a song of praise torecord-breaking consumer players,” analysts at China GalaxySecurities said in report.

** The United States said on Wednesday it would now requiresenior Chinese diplomats to get State Department approval beforevisiting U.S. university campuses or holding cultural eventswith more than 50 people outside mission grounds.

** The recovery in China’s service sector activity extendedinto a fourth straight month in August, an industry surveyshowed, with companies hiring more people for the first timesince January.

** The services sector, which accounts for about 60% of theeconomy and half of urban jobs, had been slower to return togrowth initially than large manufacturers, but the recovery hasgathered pace in recent months as coronavirus curbs eased.(Reporting by Luoyan Liu and Brenda Goh; Editing by ShaileshKuber)