SHANGHAI, March 3 China stocks fell on Friday
and saw a streak of weekly gains end at three as investors
awaited an annual parliament meeting that's likely to send more
signals of painful reform than market-friendly stimulus.
The blue-chip CSI300 index fell 0.2 percent, to
3,427.86 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost
0.4 percent to 3,218.31 points.
For the week, CSI300 was down 1.3 percent, while SSEC
contracted 1.1 percent.
For the CSI300, the weekly loss was the biggest since
mid-December, showing the market's blue chip-led rally is losing
Blue-chips have outperformed small-caps on the back of
economic recovery, as well as hopes that more fiscal stimulus
will be unveiled at the meeting of China's National People's
Congress (NPC) that starts on Sunday.
However, evidence is building that China's leaders are
expected to telegraph their willingness at NPC to let reforms
overtake policy stimulus as their priority, due to concerns
about financial instability.
On Friday, the stock market was not helped by a private
survey showing activity in China's services sector expanded at
the slowest pace in four months in February.
"Investor worries are fermenting, and at this juncture,
signs of weakness in one sector would immediately worsen
sentiment of the whole market," Hothot-based Hengtai Securities
said in a strategy report.
Main sectors fell across the board, led by material
and energy shares.
Leshi Internet Information, a component of the
CSI300 and the ChiNext start-up index, tumbled as
much as 8.1 percent to hit a more than 17-month low, posting its
worst week since Sept. 4, 2015.
(Reporting by Luoyan Liu and John Ruwitch; Editing by Richard