SHANGHAI, June 15 (Reuters) - China stocks were little changed on Thursday on persistent fears that policy tightening measures will soon start to weigh on the country’s economic growth, despite largely resilient data reported the previous day.
The blue-chip CSI300 index fell 0.2 percent, to 3,528.79 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index added 0.1 percent to 3,132.49 points.
The Shanghai SE 50 Index, an index tracking the 50 most representative blue-chips in Shanghai, lost 0.6 percent after slumping the most in six months the previous session.
On the other hand, the tech-heavy start-up board index ChiNext rose 1.4 percent to a one-month high.
Data on Wednesday showed solid industrial output and retail sales growth in May, though investment is starting to cool as credit conditions tighten in the world’s second-largest economy.
China’s central bank left interest rates for open market operations unchanged on Thursday, shrugging off an overnight increase in the U.S. Federal Reserve’s key policy rate.
Though China didn’t follow the Fed in raising rates, as it did with short-term rates in March, analysts pointed out that borrowing costs in the country’s interbank market have already risen sharply this year, as money supply in May grew at the slowest annual rate in over 20 years.
“We’re seeing more equity supplies but less liquidity, so China’s stock market will likely remain sluggish,” said Wei Jianfei, analyst at Lianchu Securities.
Traders say the market is also worried that profit growth at listed Chinese firms could stagnate, as producer price inflation may have peaked.
Data this week showed that China’s economy generally remained on solid footing in May, but tighter monetary policy, a cooling housing market and slowing investment reinforced views that it will gradually lose momentum in coming months.
Most sectors fell for the day, led by banking and consumer stocks which traded near their record highs.
However, small-caps, in particular newly-listed stocks and other shares that had tumbled more than 40 percent or more in the past months, far outperformed, as investors started to hunt for bargains amid a correction in leading blue-chips. (Reporting by Luoyan Liu and John Ruwitch; Editing by Kim Coghill)