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Wednesday, March 25, 2015, 18:18

China stocks mixed, aviation, banking drag

By Xinhua

BEIJING - Chinese stocks ended mixed on Wednesday as a negative impact from the weak HSBC flash manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) sank in.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.83 percent, or 30.68 points, to finish at 3,660.73 points, while the Shenzhen Component Index dipped 0.34 percent, or 44.11 points, to close at 12,757.1 points.

Chinese aviation stocks were dampened in early trade following Tuesday's fatal crash by Germanwings flight 4U 9525.

The board of aviation industry shares had dipped 2.13 percent as a whole after Wednesday's trading.

The Hushen 300 Index, which samples about a fifth of the total stocks listed on the two bourses, slipped 0.82 percent, or 32.63 points, to close at 3,940.41 points.

The ChiNext Index, tracking China's Nasdaq-style board of growth enterprises, gained 1.15 percent, or 27.05 points, to end at 2,385.01 points.

The ChiNext Index reached a record high on Wednesday, despite the Shanghai composite index ending its 10-day winning streak with a slight fall, said Chen Wei, an analyst with CITIC Securities.

The fall was led by heavyweight stocks in the banking and securities sectors, dampened by weaker-than-expected HSBC flash manufacturing PMI data.

China's manufacturing activity in March fell again to an 11-month low of 49.2, according to HSBC's preliminary PMI released on Tuesday, signaling weaker growth momentum and pressure on policy makers to ease policies.

The HSBC flash manufacturing PMI for March, the lowest since May 2014, came after a reading of 50.7 in February and was much weaker than the market consensus of 50.5.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below that represents contraction.

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