* SSEC +1.21%, CSI300 +1.54%

* Follows >5% fall last week, biggest weekly drop in a year

* Factory activity growth slows in February

SHANGHAI, March 1 (Reuters) – China shares ended higher on Monday, rebounding from their biggest weekly loss in a year as investors bought shares bruised by the sell-off, even as slower factory activity growth showed the fragility of China’s economic recovery.

** The Shanghai Composite index ended up 1.21% at 3,551.40. It fell 5.06% last week, its biggest weekly percentage drop since February 2020. ** The blue-chip CSI300 index was up 1.54%, with the consumer staples sector up 1.49% and the healthcare sub-index up 1.32%. ** Analysts at UBS said downside risks to the market are “manageable” after last week’s fall. ** “We expect market volatility to intensify in the short term. It could take investors some time to re-price domestic policy normalisation, a global economic recovery and rising global rates,” they said in a note. ** China’s factory activity expanded at the slowest pace in nine months in February as weak overseas demand and coronavirus flare-ups weighed on output, a business survey showed on Monday. ** Shares were supported by purchases from foreign investors. Flows through the northbound leg of Stock Connect topped 6.5 billion yuan ($1.01 billion), according to Refinitiv data. ** Growth in new home prices in China eased slightly in February as demand slowed over the Lunar New Year and some major cities clamped down further on speculative buying. ** The real estate index rose 0.98%, with analysts expecting home price growth to maintain a steady upward trend. ** The rare earth index jumped 6.64% after China’s industry minister said on Monday that China’s rare earths are underpriced due to vicious competition. ** The smaller Shenzhen index ended up 2.38% and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was higher by 2.767%. ** At 0708 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 6.464 per U.S. dollar, 0.06% firmer than the previous close of 6.4681.

$1 = 6.4643 Chinese yuan Reporting by Andrew Galbraith; editing by Uttaresh.V

SOURCE : https://www.reuters.com/article/china-stocks-close/china-shares-bounce-higher-investors-shrug-off-factory-growth-slowdown-idUSAZN00XQ7H