July 16, 2018 / 4:29 AM / in 3 months

China, Hong Kong stocks fall on soft economy data

* SSEC -0.5 pct, CSI300 -0.5 pct, HSI -0.2 pct

* HK->Shanghai Connect daily quota used 0 pct, Shanghai->HK daily quota used -0.6 pct

* FTSE China A50 -1.0 pct, BNY Mellon ADR China Select Index -0.6 pct

SHANGHAI, July 16 (Reuters) - China stocks started the week on a soft note, after data showed the country’s economy expanded at a slower pace in the second quarter, while the heated trade war with the United States threatened to knock exports.

** The CSI300 index dropped 0.5 percent to 3,477.14 points at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.5 percent to 2,817.76 points. ** Banking and real estate firms led the decline, with indexes tracking those firms down 1.7 percent and 2.5 percent, respectively. ** China’s economy expanded at a slower pace in the second quarter as Beijing’s crackdown on debt risks crimped activity, while June factory output growth weakened to a two-year low in a worrying sign as a heated trade war with the United States threatens to knock exports. ** “They need to slow financial deleveraging slightly and to turn their focus more on growth-supportive measures, for example, increasing liquidity through (bank reserve requirement) cuts,” said Iris Pang, Greater China Economist at ING in Hong Kong. ** China’s fiscal policy has “ample room” to support the economy, the central bank’s chief researcher said in an opinion column on Friday, adding that the policy has not been active enough. ** In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index dropped 0.2 percent to 28,477.73 points, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index slipped 0.7 percent to 10,667.33. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index slipped 0.38 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei index climbed 1.85 percent. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.6906 per U.S. dollar, 0.13 percent firmer than the previous close of 6.6993. ** The largest percentage gainers on the main Shanghai Composite index were Triumph Science & Technology Co Ltd, which climbed 10.07 percent, followed by Veken Technology Co Ltd , which gained 10.05 percent and Shandong Cynda Chemical Co Ltd, which rose 10.02 percent. ** The largest percentage losses in the Shanghai index were Anji Foodstuff Co Ltd, which fell 10.02 percent, followed by Henan Oriental Silver Star Investment Co Ltd, which lost 10 percent and Guangdong Wencan Die Casting Co Ltd, which fell 10 percent. ** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is down 14.39 percent, while China’s H-share index is down 8.2 percent. Shanghai stocks declined 0.57 percent this month. ** The top gainers among H-shares were China Resources Land Ltd up 1.31 percent, followed by SINOPHARM GROUP CO LTD gaining 0.91 percent and Hengan International Group Company Ltd up by 0.79 percent. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were Byd Co Ltd which has fallen 4.79 percent, Air China Ltd which has lost 3.0 percent and Anhui Conch Cement Co Ltd down by 2.9 percent. ** About 6.70 billion shares have traded so far on the Shanghai exchange, roughly 51.3 percent of the market’s 30-day moving average of 13.07 billion shares a day. The volume traded was 11.77 billion as of the last full trading day. ** As of 0403 GMT, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 19.82 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. ** The Shanghai stock index is below its 50-day moving average and below its 200-day moving average. ** In Hong Kong, the sub-index of the Hang Seng index tracking energy shares dipped 0.1 percent, while the IT sector rose 0.4 percent. The top gainer on Hang Seng was Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd, which climbed 1.43 percent, while the biggest loser was Country Garden Holdings Co Ltd, which declined 2.76 percent.

Reporting by Luoyan Liu and John Ruwitch, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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