October 24, 2019 / 4:42 AM / 21 days ago

China stocks slip as consumer, healthcare firms sag; Hong Kong up

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

* HK->Shanghai Connect daily quota used -0.1%, Shanghai->HK daily quota used 1.2%

* FTSE China A50 +0.0%

SHANGHAI, Oct 24 (Reuters) - China shares eased on Thursday, as consumer and healthcare stocks dragged ahead of earnings, while Beijing pledging more measures to spur a cooling economy failed to uplift sentiment.

** The CSI300 index fell 0.2% to 3,865.43 at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.2% to 2,935.25.

** China’s state planner said on Wednesday it will implement new regulations that aim to make it easier to do business from Jan. 1, 2020.

** The measures said that foreign and domestic companies should be treated equally, as should all types of market entities regardless of ownership.

** Policy support is key to underpinning the A-share market in an earnings season when investors ponder over the implications of a bruising Sino-U.S. trade war.

** China’s monetary policy easing is a general trend as the country’s economy slows, though Beijing’s leeway would be limited in the fourth quarter by increasing inflation pressure as the consumer price index (CPI) reached 3.0% in September, Zhang Qiyao, analyst with Guosheng Securities noted in report.

** Without risks that could lead to a systemic correction, or catalysts that point to a big rally, the market could remain basically rangebound in the fourth quarter, Zhang added.

** Leading the decline, the CSI300 healthcare index and the CSI300 consumer staples index shed 0.8% and 0.6%, respectively, while the CSI300 banks index added 1.1%.

** In Hong Kong, stocks firmed on hopes more stimulus would come out to support the economy.

** The Hang Seng index added 0.5% to 26,691.11, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index gained 0.6% to 10,514.71.

** The island city government has announced more measures to bolster growth amid political protests.

** Hong Kong’s legislature on Wednesday formally withdrew planned legislation that would have allowed extraditions to mainland China, meeting one of five demands of pro-democracy protesters but unlikely to end months of often violent unrest.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.29% while Japan’s Nikkei index was up 0.63%.

** The yuan was quoted at 7.0664 per U.S. dollar, % firmer than the previous close of 7.0667.

** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is up 17.95%, while China’s H-share index is up 3.2%. Shanghai stocks have risen 1.25% this month.

** As of 0415 GMT, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 28.87% over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. (Reporting by Luoyan Liu and Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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