China stocks end down on second day of trading link with 37% of northbound quota taken up

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China stocks ended lower on Tuesday as investors took profits in shares that rose sharply ahead of Monday's launch of the landmark Hong Kong-Shanghai trading link.

The Shanghai Composite Index ended down 0.7 per cent at 2,457.5 points, while the CSI300 index of the largest listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen eased 1.0 per cent.

Trading was much slower on Tuesday than the previous day, with only 37 per cent of the daily 13 billion yuan (US$2.12 billion) "northbound" quota - which limits how much Hong Kong-based investors can buy in Shanghai - being been used, and around 5 per cent of the 10.5 billion yuan "southbound" quota taken up.

The top gainers that reportedly drew most northbound investment on Monday - Daqin Railway Co, Kweichow Moutai Co, SAIC Motor, Ping An Insurance and Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group Co - succumbed to profit-taking on Tuesday.