Liquor shares swooned, with Kweichow Moutai Co Ltd dropping 4.63 per cent, as selling by foreign investors through the Stock Connect channel weighed. The consumer staples sector slumped 4.18 per cent and the healthcare sub-index dropped 3.28 per cent.
Despite the falls, valuations are still near record highs and some analysts expect earnings to remain strong on a cyclical recovery.
“In particular, we could see a sharper rotation into cyclical stocks like banks, materials and energy, with tech shares remaining strong following very robust performance (year-to-date),” Carlos Casanova, senior economist for Asia at Union Bancaire Privee, said in a note.
But while China left its benchmark lending rate for corporate and household loans unchanged for the 10th straight month on Saturday, matching market expectations, recent weeks have seen mounting speculation that authorities may begin to adopt a tighter policy stance.
Expectations for a global recovery helped to lift the Hang Seng Index up 0.46 per cent in Hong Kong, while Chinese H-shares listed in Hong Kong fell 0.02 per cent.
Shares of some firms set to be included on FTSE Russell’s global benchmarks surged after the index provider announced their inclusion late last week.
Shanghai Haohai Biological Technology Co Ltd surged 14.54 per cent, and China Railway Signal & Communication Corp Ltd jumped 3.85 per cent. The STAR50 index, the benchmark tracking the STAR Market, fell 0.72 per cent, while Shenzhen’s tech-heavy ChiNext lost 2.53 per cent. The smaller Shenzhen index dipped 0.48 per cent.
The yuan was quoted at 6.4621 per U.S. dollar, 0.04 per cent weaker than the previous close of 6.4598.