SSEC +0.26%, CSI300 -0.3%
Securities firms rally on improving fundamentals -analyst
Sino-U.S. tensions, profit booking limit broader gains
SHANGHAI, Aug 6 (Reuters) - China's benchmark Shanghai Composite Index ended higher for a fifth straight session on Thursday, as a rally in financial and materials stocks offset worries about rising Sino-U.S. tensions that had earlier weighed on the index.
** At the close, the Shanghai Composite index .SSEC was up 0.26% at 3,386.46, ending higher for a fifth straight day.
** The financial sector sub-index .CSI300FS added 1.48%, and securities firms .CSI399707 jumped 3.48%.
** The rise was a matter of fundamentals, reflecting signs of improving performance at securities firms, said Zhang Gang, an analyst with China Central Securities. Expectations of possible consolidation in the sector had also boosted interest, he added.
** Materials firms also rallied, led by gold miners as prices of the precious metal touched new highs. Zijin Mining 601899.SS ended 8.78% higher and Juling Gold 600988.SS soared 9.98%.
** But Sino-U.S. tensions continued to weigh on sentiment, while profit-taking pulled down sectors that have rallied in recent days.
** The blue-chip CSI300 index .CSI300 finished down 0.3%, with the consumer staples sector .CSI000912 down 2.03% and the healthcare sub-index .CSI300HC down 2.84%.
** U.S. President Donald Trump's administration said on Wednesday it was stepping up efforts to purge "untrusted" Chinese apps from U.S. digital networks and called the Chinese-owned short-video app TikTok and messenger app WeChat "significant threats".
** The smaller Shenzhen index .SZSC ended down 0.62% and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index .CNT shed 1.604%.
** Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index .MIAPJ0000PUS was firmer by 0.25%, while Japan's Nikkei index .N225 closed down 0.43%.
** At 07:08 GMT, the yuan CNY=CFXS was quoted at 6.9464 per U.S. dollar, 0.16% weaker than the previous close of 6.935.
(Reporting by Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Ramakrishnan M.)
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