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SHANGHAI: China stocks ended lower on Wednesday as consumer staples and bank shares slumped amid cautious trading in the last week of the year, while the lockdown in Xian city to curb the spread of COVID-19 continued for the seventh day, weighing on sentiment.

The blue-chip CSI300 index fell 1.5%, to 4,883.48, while the Shanghai Composite index lost 0.9% to 3,597.00 points.

Consumer staples slumped 3.4%, with liquor makers down 5%.

Analysts expect liquor sales will enter peak season with the upcoming new year and spring festival holidays, benefiting related stocks.

Banks declined 1.5%, while semiconductors and electronics lost 1.4% and 1.3% respectively.

A lockdown of 13 million people in the Chinese city of Xian entered its seventh day on Wednesday as new COVID-19 infections persisted, hitting operations of some local manufacturers.

Central China Securities analysts said market participants are holding money and waiting as the year comes to an end.

Bucking the trend, tourism and transport stocks gained around 1% each with new year holidays approaching. Meanwhile, defence shares added 1.3%.

China’s central bank will by the end of the month issue a first batch of low-cost loans to financial institutions to enable carbon emission cuts, central bank governor Yi Gang told state-owned Xinhua.

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