* SSEC -0.8 pct; CSI300 -0.6 pct; Hong Kong closed
* Steel and coal prices slump
* Pollution concerns lift healthcare sector
SHANGHAI, Dec 26 China stocks began 2016's final
week on a bearish note, as lower commodity prices hurt raw
material and energy shares.
Hong Kong markets were closed on Monday for a holiday.
The CSI300 index was down 0.6 percent, to 3,286.47
points, at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai
Composite Index had dropped 0.8 percent, to 3,085.82
Zhang Qi, analyst at Haitong Securities in Shanghai, said
sentiment was dampened by liquidity stress toward the year-end
as demand for cash increased.
Also curbing risk appetite was news late on Friday that
China's securities regulator urged five investment banks to
correct their faults unveiled in a recent inspection, while the
Shanghai Stock Exchange stepped up a crackdown on book-cooking
ahead of the release of annual reports.
Raw material stocks led Monday's sell-offs, with
an index tracking the sector down more than 2.1 percent at the
Shares of Baoshan Iron & Steel Co Ltd and Wuhan
Iron and Steel Co Ltd retreated 2.9 percent and 2.6
percent respectively, as futures contract of rebar lost
around 3.3 percent.
An index tracking energy stocks lost nearly 2 percent after
futures contract of coke slumped.
Reflecting concerns about recent pollution in Beijing and
elsewhere, healthcare stocks gained nearly 0.6
percent, bucking the board trend.
(Reporting by Jackie Cai and John Ruwitch; Editing by Richard