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China Shares End Lower as Omicron, Debt Worries Drag

SHANGHAI, Dec 14 (Reuters) - China's shares ended lower on Tuesday, as losses in materials, financials and consumer discretionary firms weighed on broader indexes amid concerns over the impact of the Omicron COVID-19 variant and debt risks facing property developers.

** At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was down 0.53% at 3,661.53.

** The blue-chip CSI300 index was down 0.67%, with its financial sector sub-index losing 1.17%, the resources sector falling 2.3%, the real-estate index down 2.47% and consumer discretionary firms ending 2% lower.

** The real-estate index fell as concerns around debt risks saw bonds issued by Shanghai Shimao Co Ltd suspended from trade on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

** China securities regulator said on Monday it would properly resolve bond default risks and crack down on "fake financial exchanges" after holding a meeting to discuss instructions from last week's Central Economic Work Conference.

** Also hitting sentiment, several companies in one of China's biggest manufacturing hubs suspended operations amid attempts to contain a COVID-19 outbreak. 

** The smaller Shenzhen index ended down 0.27% and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was weaker by 0.054%.

** Tech shares came under pressure after China's cyberspace regulator said on Monday it had fined Weibo , the operator of social media platform Sina, 3 million yuan ($470,000) for what it said was repeated publishing and transmission of illegal information.

** Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.74%, while Japan's Nikkei index closed 0.73% lower.

** At 0700 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 6.3626 per U.S. dollar, 0.08% firmer than the previous close of 6.368.

** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is up 5.4% and the CSI300 has fallen 3.1%, while China's H-share index listed in Hong Kong is down 21.7%. Shanghai stocks have risen 2.74% this month.

Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

Source: Reuters

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