March 16, 2018 / 4:25 AM / in 7 months

China, Hong Kong stocks slip on U.S. political woes

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

* HK->Shanghai Connect daily quota used 1.4 pct,

* Shanghai->HK daily quota used 4.6 pct

* BNY Mellon ADR China Select Index +1.8 pct

SHANGHAI, March 16 (Reuters) - China and Hong Kong stocks slipped on Friday morning as reports of further chaos in the Trump administration added to concerns about rising U.S. protectionism. ** At 04:04 GMT, the Shanghai Composite index was down 0.12 percent at 3,287.26, the blue-chip CSI300 index was down 0.22 percent at 4,087.18. ** Chinese H-shares listed in Hong Kong fell 0.6 percent at 12,643.31, while the Hang Seng Index was down 0.31 percent at 31,442.49. ** The smaller Shenzhen index was down 0.12 percent and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was weaker by 0.62 percent. ** The New York Times reported that U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller had issued a subpoena for documents related to U.S. President Donald Trump’s businesses. ** The Washington Post, meanwhile, reported that President Trump has decided to remove H.R. McMaster as his national security advisor. ** Together with the report earlier this week that Trump is seeking to impose tariffs on up to $60 billion of Chinese imports, they cemented investor concerns that the administration is increasingly leaning towards protectionism. ** Material firms, including aluminum and steel makers led the losses on both markets, after a U.S. trade panel said imports of aluminum foil from China harmed U.S. producers. ** Indexes tracking material makers in the mainland and Hong Kong down 0.8 percent and 1.2 percent respectively by the lunch break. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.42 percent while Japan’s Nikkei index was down 0.69 percent. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.3292 per U.S. dollar, 0.15 percent weaker than the previous close of 6.3195. ** The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were Shanghai DaZhong Public Utilities Group Co Ltd up 10.06 percent, followed by Baida Group Co Ltd gaining 10.03 percent and Yangzhou Yaxing Motor Coach Co Ltd up by 10.03 percent. ** The largest percentage losers in the Shanghai index were Zhejiang Feida Environmental Science & Technology Co Ltd down 8.12 percent, followed by Lanzhou Minbai Shareholding Group Co Ltd losing 5.84 percent and Shangying Global Co Ltd down by 4.84 percent. ** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is down -0.49 percent, while China’s H-share index is up 8.6 percent. Shanghai stocks have risen 0.97 percent this month. ** The top gainers among H-shares were China Pacific Insurance Group Co Ltd up 2.62 percent, followed by Anhui Conch Cement Co Ltd gaining 1.74 percent and China Gas Holdings Ltd up by 1.64 percent. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were Agricultural Bank of China Ltd, which has fallen 2.75 percent, China Merchants Bank Co Ltd, which has lost 2.0 percent and China Citic Bank Corp Ltd, down by 1.6 percent. ** About 7.37 billion shares have traded so far on the Shanghai exchange, roughly 39.7 percent of the market’s 30-day moving average of 18.56 billion shares a day. The volume traded was 14.86 billion as of the last full trading day. ** As of 04:04 GMT, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 24.85 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. ** The price-to-earnings ratio of the Shanghai index was 14.98 as of the last full trading day while the dividend yield was 1.9 percent. ** So far this week, the market capitalisation of the Shanghai stock index has fallen by 0.28 percent to 29.43 trillion yuan. ** In Hong Kong, the sub-index of the Hang Seng index tracking energy shares dipped 1.1 percent while the IT sector fell 0.1 percent. The top gainer on Hang Seng was Country Garden Holdings Co Ltd, up 3.67 percent, while the biggest loser was Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd , which was down 2.07 percent.

Reporting by Samuel Shen and John Ruwitch; Editing by Sunil Nair

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