December 25, 2017 / 4:56 AM / 23 days ago

China stocks fall, fear of a low M2 growth target triggers liquidity concerns

SHANGHAI, Dec 25 (Reuters) - China stocks fell on Monday morning, led by small-caps, as expectations that Beijing could set its 2018 money growth target at an all-time low stirred worries about market liquidity. Hong Kong markets were closed for Christmas.

** China is likely to set its 2018 money growth target around 9 percent to curb debt risks and contain asset bubbles, the official China Daily reported on Monday, citing economists involved in high-level policy discussions. ** At 04:14 GMT, the Shanghai Composite index was down 13.50 points or 0.41 percent at 3,283.57. ** China’s blue-chip CSI300 index was down 0.29 percent , with its financial sector sub-index higher by 0.12 percent, the consumer staples sector down 0.54 percent , the real estate index up 1.99 percent and healthcare sub-index down 0.19 percent.

** The smaller Shenzhen index was down 0.94 percent and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was weaker by 1.45 percent, on track to post its biggest daily percentage loss in three weeks. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.5617 per U.S. dollar, 0.22 percent firmer than the previous close of 6.5765. ** The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were First Tractor Co Ltd up 10.07 percent, followed by Wenyi Suntech Co Ltd gaining 10 percent and Chifeng Jilong Gold Mining Co Ltd up 6.93 percent. ** The largest percentage losses in the Shanghai index were Luenmei Quantum Co Ltd down 10 percent, followed by Anhui Leimingkehua Co Ltd losing 9.88 percent and Fangda Special Steel Technology Co Ltd down by 6.2 percent. ** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is up 6.23 percent, while China’s H-share index is up 24.0 percent. Shanghai stocks have declined 0.61 percent this month. ** The top gainers among H-shares were China Vanke Co Ltd up 4.54 percent, followed by Guangzhou Automobile Group Co Ltd gaining 3.45 percent and Sinopharm GROUP CO LTD up by 2.15 percent. ** The Shanghai stock index is below its 50-day moving average and above its 200-day moving average.

Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Richard Borsuk

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