February 19, 2019 / 4:26 AM / 6 months ago

China, Hong Kong stocks extend gains on trade talks hopes

* SSEC +0.3 pct, CSI300 +0.2 pct, HSI +0.1 pct

* New round of U.S.-China trade talks begins Tuesday

* China needs tax cuts to relieve pressure on economy - vice premier

SHANGHAI, Feb 19 (Reuters) - China and Hong Kong stocks rose further on Tuesday morning, aided by hopes that Sino-U.S. trade talks were making progress.

** The CSI300 index rose 0.2 percent, to 3,451.90 points, at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.3 percent, to 2,761.22 points.

** Both indexes surged about 3 percent in the previous session, taking their gains so far in 2019 to more than 10 percent after a dismal 2018.

** The Hang Seng index added 0.1 percent, to 28,368.65 points, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index gained 0.3 percent, to 11,185.49 points.

** Reports of progress in trade talks between the United States and China have prompted investors to be mildly optimistic that the two countries can reach a compromise by March 1 that will de-escalate their dispute or at least avoid a sharp hike in tariffs, although few details from the talks have emerged.

** A new round of talks between the United States and China to resolve their trade war will take place in Washington on Tuesday, with follow-up sessions at a higher level later in the week, the White House said on Monday.

** China’s decision to cut company taxes and fees is an important part of fiscal policy and is a hard-hitting measure needed to cope with pressure on the economy, state media reported Vice Premier Han Zheng as saying.

** Shares in Guangdong-based firms surged after Beijing issued guidelines for developing a “Greater Bay Area” around the Pearl River Delta, in a bid to spur growth in Guangdong province and the cities of Hong Kong and Macau.

** The development plan will “further enhance and support a leading role of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area in national economic development and opening up”, China’s State Council, or cabinet, said in the guidelines.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.01 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei index was up 0.06 percent.

** The yuan was quoted at 6.7754 per U.S. dollar, 0.12 percent weaker than the previous close of 6.7675.

** The largest percentage gainers on the main Shanghai Composite index were Jiangsu Hongtu High Technology Co Ltd , up 10.14 percent, followed by Shanghai DZH Ltd , gaining 10.13 percent, and Guangzhou Yuetai Group Co Ltd, up by 10.13 percent.

** The largest percentage losers on the Shanghai index were Hubei Jumpcan Pharmaceutical Co Ltd, down 6.49 percent, followed by Sichuan Em Technology Co Ltd, losing 6.29 percent, and Jilin Chengcheng Group Co Ltd , down by 5.07 percent.

** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is up 10.44 percent, while China’s H-share index is up 10.1 percent. Shanghai stocks have risen 6.57 percent this month.

** The top gainers among H-shares were China Life Insurance Co Ltd, up 3.96 percent, followed by People’s Insurance Company Group of China Ltd, gaining 3.69 percent, and GF Securities Co Ltd, up by 3.56 percent.

** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were CSPC Pharmaceutical Group Ltd, which has fallen 6.12 percent, China Vanke Co Ltd, which has lost 3.0 percent, and SINOPHARM GROUP CO LTD, down by 2.0 percent.

** As of 04:10 GMT, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 18.04 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares.

Reporting by Luoyan Liu and John Ruwitch; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu

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