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SHANGHAI: China stocks closed lower on Friday as investors maintained a cautious stance over the country’s sluggish economic recovery, with strong foreign outflows denting risk sentiment further.

The blue-chip CSI 300 Index and the Shanghai Composite Index were both down 0.7% at market close.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index lost 2%, and the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index declined 2.1%.

For the week, the CSI 300 was down 0.8%, marking its worst week in a month, while the Hang Seng index closed 0.6% higher.

Other Asian markets were also down on Friday amid little guidance from Wall Street, which was closed for a holiday, while the US dollar remained on the backfoot as investors bet US rate hikes have peaked.

Foreign investors sold a net 6.2 billion yuan ($859.79 million) of Chinese shares via the Stock Connect, the biggest daily outflow in more than one month.

With recent economic data being a mixed bag and still weak, Yongxing Securities expects the market to have a range-bound performance.

Still, small stocks rose amid speculative bets. Shares of Beijing Stock Exchange, which focuses on China’s innovative small companies, jumped 6.5% and posted a weekly gain of 21%, amid policy support and frenzied bets.

The Hang Seng Mainland Properties Index slipped 2.2%. China might allow banks to offer unsecured short-term loans to qualified property developers for the first time, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday.

In mainland markets, shares in artificial intelligence companies slumped 2.3%, while semiconductors and new energy lost 1.7% and 1.5%, respectively. Tech giants listed in Hong Kong fell 2.2%.

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