SHANGHAI, Sept 15 (Reuters) – China stocks closed lower on Wednesday as weak factory and retail activity data weighed on sentiment, while the fresh COVID-19 outbreaks also raised concerns over China’s economic recovery.

The blue-chip CSI300 index fell 1.0% to 4,867.32, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.2% to 3,656.22.

** China’s factory and retail sectors faltered in August, with output and sales growth hitting one-year lows as fresh coronavirus outbreaks and supply disruptions threatened the country’s economic recovery.

** “We expect Beijing to use more general easing measures to offset its tightening stance on the property sector and carbon emissions,” Nomura analysts said in a note.

** The consumer staples sub-index and the tourism sub-index shed around 2%, as China fights the latest coronavirus outbreak in the southeast Fujian province, and some cities have issued travel warnings ahead of major holidays.

** “The recovery in retail sales will likely continue to be sluggish as recent virus outbreaks may dampen consumer confidence and people’s willingness to travel,” said HSBC in a note.

** The real estate sector and banks finished down 2.5% and 0.9%, respectively, as issues related to China Evergrande Group prompted worries of broader risks to the country’s real estate market and financial system.

** “We think Beijing is willing to shoulder some short-term pain in order to seek long-term gains, and this time around Beijing won’t easily dial back its property curbs,” said Nomura.

** A sub-index tracking energy shares rose 1.5% after oil prices climbed. (Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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