(Yicai Global) March 1 -- Stock markets on the Chinese mainland had lost most of their morning gains going into the lunch break after excitement surrounding their increased weight in MSCI indexes failed to attract follow-up purchases.
The Shanghai Composite Index was at 2,945.05 at the break, up 0.14 percent from yesterday's close, while the Shenzhen Component Index gained 0.09 percent to 9,036.36. The ChiNext price Index, which tracks growth enterprises in Shenzhen, fared the best -- it was up 0.57 percent at 1,544.37 after MSCI said it would include ChiNext stocks in its benchmarks for the first time.
MSCI said before the markets opened that it had approved a plan to quadruple the weight of Chinese stocks in MSCI indexes to 20 percent by the end of this year, a move that could inject tens of billions more dollars into mainland equity markets.
All three benchmarks leaped at the morning bell but were quickly dragged down by a wave of profit taking, before a mid-morning surge that again waned as short-term investors cashed out.
The stocks were also buoyed by the Caixin manufacturing purchasing managers' index for February, which beat expectations to rise 1.6 points to 49.9, a three-month high but still in contraction territory.
Trading volume slipped further to CNY401.5 billion (USD60.1 billion), down from CNY408.5 billion at the mid-way point yesterday. Daily turnover surged to multi-year highs of more than CNY1 trillion over the first two trading days this week as the indexes hit multi-month highs of their own.