January 8, 2019 / 4:32 AM / 15 days ago

China, Hong Kong stocks nearly flat, all eyes on trade pact

* SSEC down 0.2 pct, CSI300 falls 0.1 pct, HSI 0.3 pct lower

* U.S., China can reach trade deal ‘we can live with’ -U.S. Commerce secretary

* China’s FX reserves fall in 2018 as slowing economy, trade war weigh

SHANGHAI, Jan 8(Reuters) - China and Hong Kong stocks were mixed on Tuesday morning, as investors tread cautiously, amid hopes that Washington and Beijing may be inching towards a trade deal.

** The CSI300 index fell 0.1 percent to 3,050.67 points at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.2 percent, to 2,527.95 points.

** The Hang Seng index added 0.3 percent to 25,905.82 points, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index gained 0.2 percent, to 10,142.21 points.

** U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross predicted on Monday that Beijing and Washington could reach a trade deal that “we can live with” as dozens of officials from the world’s two largest economies resumed talks in a bid to end their trade dispute.

** China’s Foreign Ministry said Beijing had the “good faith” to work with the United States to resolve trade frictions, but many analysts doubt the two sides can reach a comprehensive agreement on all of the divisive issues before a March deadline.

** There seemed to be scant market reaction to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s visit in China.

** China’s annual foreign exchange reserves fell for the third time in four years in 2018 as the yuan came under strong selling pressure from the cooling economy and escalating Sino-U.S. trade tensions.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.14 percent while Japan’s Nikkei index was up 1.04 percent.

** The yuan was quoted at 6.857 per U.S. dollar, 0.09 percent weaker than the previous close of 6.8505.

** The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were shares of Jinzhou Port Co Ltd, up 10.07 percent, followed by those of Pengqi Technology Development Co Ltd, gaining 10.06 percent and Zhejiang Tiantai Xianghe Industrial Co Ltd, up 10.03 percent.

** The largest percentage losses in the Shanghai index were counters of Wuxi New Hongtai Electrical Technology Co Ltd , down 9.98 percent, followed by BTG Hotels Group Co Ltd, losing 7.57 percent and Pengqi Technology Development Co Ltd, down by 7.27 percent.

** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is up 1.57 percent, while China’s H-share index is down 0.0 percent. Shanghai stocks have risen 1.57 percent this month.

** The top gainers among H-shares were China Tower Corp Ltd , up 4.79 percent, followed by SINOPHARM GROUP CO LTD , gaining 3 percent and Byd Co Ltd, up by 2.87 percent.

** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were Great Wall Motor Co Ltd, which has fallen 2.95 percent, Guangzhou Automobile Group Co Ltd, which has lost 2.9 percent and China Resources Land Ltd, down by 2.2 percent.

** About 10.20 billion shares have traded so far on the Shanghai exchange, roughly 75.6 percent of the market’s 30-day moving average of 13.49 billion shares a day. The volume traded was 17.73 billion as of the last full trading day.

** As of 04:01 GMT, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 18.50 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares.

Reporting by Luoyan Liu and John Ruwitch; Editing by Rashmi Aich

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