November 20, 2019 / 5:13 AM / 21 days ago

China, HK stocks drop as trade angst resurfaces

* SSEC -0.4%, CSI300 -0.5%, HSI -0.6%

* HK->Shanghai Connect daily quota used 0.1%, Shanghai->HK daily quota used 3.1%

* FTSE China A50 -0.7%

SHANGHAI, Nov 20 (Reuters) - China and Hong Kong stocks slipped on Wednesday, amid renewed worries that the Sino-U.S. trade talks could hit a snag after Beijing condemned a U.S. Senate measure backing anti-government protesters in the Asian financial hub.

** The CSI300 index was down 0.5% at 3,927.68 points at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.4% to 2,922.96 points.

** The Hang Seng index dropped 0.6% to 26,924.18 points, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index also lost 0.6% to 10,632.68 points.

** In a statement, China’s foreign ministry said the United States should stop interfering in Hong Kong and Chinese affairs and move to stop the latest bills on Hong Kong from becoming law.

** China condemned the U.S. Senate’s decision to pass a bill aimed at protecting human rights in Hong Kong, amid clashes between pro-democracy protesters and police.

** In the protests that escalated more than five months ago, the last band of anti-government protesters trapped inside a besieged Hong Kong university were weighing a narrowing range of options early on Wednesday as police outside appeared ready to simply wait them out.

** Conflicting signals from Washington and Beijing in the past few days deflated market hopes of a near-term truce to end their damaging tariff war. U.S. President Donald Trump said the United States would raise tariffs on Chinese imports if no deal is reached with Beijing to end a trade war.

** “With the prop from recent monetary easing likely to be underwhelming and headwinds to economic growth mounting, we think the PBOC will start to cut rates more aggressively in the coming months,” Martin Lynge Rasmussen, China economist at Capital Economics, said in a research note.

** As widely expected, China cut its new benchmark lending rate on Wednesday, moving to drive down funding costs and shore up an economy hurt by slowing demand and trade tariffs.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.70%, while Japan’s Nikkei index was down 0.80%.

** The yuan was quoted at 7.0304 per U.S. dollar, 0.05% weaker than the previous close of 7.0272.

** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is up 17.65%, while China’s H-share index rose 5.6%. Shanghai stocks advanced 0.17% so far this month.

** As of 0424 GMT, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 27.56% over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. (Reporting by Luoyan Liu and John Ruwitch, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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