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SHANGHAI: Chinese shares snapped a four-session gaining streak to close down on Thursday, with growth stocks leading declines, after parts of Shanghai began imposing new COVID-19 restrictions.

The blue-chip CSI300 index ended 1.1% lower at 4,175.67, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.8% to 3,238.95.

The Hang Seng index fell 0.7% to 21,869.05, while the China Enterprises Index lost 1.0% to 7,606.35 points.

Residents of Shanghai’s Minhang district were ordered to stay home for two days in a bid to control coronavirus transmission risks, with daily national COVID cases also rising slightly during the week.

“The uncertainty over COVID outbreaks means Chinese equities are still likely to be susceptible to start-stop cycles,” BNP Paribas analysts said in a note.

China’s exports grew at a double-digit pace in May, shattering expectations, while imports expanded for the first time in three months as Shanghai and Beijing relaxed curbs.

To revive confidence among multinational companies, Shanghai officials are holding multiple meetings with foreign firms and easing a key border requirement for overseas workers.

Asian stocks fell as investors worried about the outlook for more rate rises ahead of a key meeting of the European Central Bank later in the day.

Despite a decline, foreign investors were net buyers of China stocks on Thursday, with Refinitiv data showing inflows of more than 6.2 billion yuan ($930 million) through the Stock Connect programme., Growth stocks, which led a recent rebound, dropped on profit-taking. Semiconductors tumbled 3.4% and new energy firms went down 1.6%.

Shares in tourism, healthcare and automobiles ended more than 2% lower.

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