June 18, 2019 / 4:33 AM / a month ago

China stocks hold steady ahead of Fed meeting; Hong Kong up

* SSEC +0.1%, CSI300 +0.3%, HSI +0.7%

* HK->Shanghai Connect daily quota used 1.4%, Shanghai->HK daily quota used 2.3%

* FTSE China A50 +0.4%

SHANGHAI, June 18 (Reuters) - China stocks held steady on Tuesday morning as market participants exercised caution ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting.

** The CSI300 index rose 0.3%, to 3,665.13 points, at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.1%, to 2,889.98 points.

** The Fed, facing fresh demands by U.S. President Donald Trump to cut interest rates, begins the meeting later on Tuesday. The central bank is expected to leave borrowing costs unchanged this time but possibly lay the groundwork for a rate cut later this year.

** There is continued improvement in risk appetite as easing in global monetary policies has been confirmed, CITIC Securities analysts said in a report.

** China’s domestic policies have turned relatively loose as Beijing moves to manage expectations and shore up economic growth, the brokerage added.

** China’s securities watchdog has told several large non-bank financial institutions to lend in the interbank market to smaller non-bank firms to help ease any cash shortfalls, sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Monday.

** In Hong Kong, stocks extended gains as protests subsided.

** The Hang Seng index added 0.7%, to 27,427.26 points, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index gained 0.6%, to 10,487.26 points.

** China redoubled its support for Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam on Monday after days of protests against a planned extradition bill, and a source close to Lam said Beijing was unlikely to let her go even if she tried to resign.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.41%, while Japan’s Nikkei index was down 0.74%.

** The yuan was quoted at 6.9267 per U.S. dollar, 0.01% weaker than the previous close of 6.9258.

** The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were Jilin Expressway Co Ltd, up 10.07%, followed by Hangzhou Electronic Soul Network Technology Co Ltd, gaining 10.02%, and Shenyang Jinbei Automotive Co Ltd, up by 10.02%.

** The largest percentage losers in the Shanghai index were Guangdong Hotata Technology Group Co Ltd, down 8.86%, followed by China Resources and Environment Co Ltd , losing 8.47%, and Jiangsu Xinri E-Vehicle Co Ltd , down by 8.26%.

** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is up 15.79%, while China’s H-share index is up 3.0%. Shanghai stocks have declined 0.38% this month.

** The top gainers among H-shares were New China Life Insurance Co Ltd, up 2.75%, followed by China Shenhua Energy Co Ltd, gaining 2.57%, and CSPC Pharmaceutical Group Ltd, up by 2.42%.

** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were China Vanke Co Ltd, which has fallen 2.39%, Longfor Group Holdings Ltd, which has lost 1.2%, and Country Garden Holdings Co Ltd, down by 0.7%.

** As of 04:15 GMT, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 26.92% over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares.

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

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