China stocks slump as bleak data heighten economic woes; HK down

* SSEC -2.9 pct, CSI300 -2.9 pct, HSI -1.5 pct

* HK->Shanghai Connect daily quota used -3.8 pct, Shanghai->HK daily quota used 2.5 pct

* FTSE China A50 -3.0 pct, BNY Mellon ADR China Select Index -3.0 pct

SHANGHAI, March 8 (Reuters) - China’s major stock indexes on Friday saw their worst session since October, as global economic worries resurfaced on weak export data from Beijing, a day after European policymakers slashed growth outlook for the bloc.

** The CSI300 index was down 2.9 percent at 3,699.60 points at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 2.9 percent to 3,016.22 points.

** Both indexes mark their worst session in nearly five months.

** China’s exports tumbled the most in three years in February while imports fell for a third straight month, pointing to a further slowdown in the economy despite a spate of support measures.

** Financial firms led the decline, as brokers slapped a rare “sell” ratings on bellwethers, dragging the sector lower.

** The CSI300 financials index dived 3.9 percent, posting its worst day since Oct. 11, 2018.

** China’s leading brokerage Citic Securities issued a rare “sell” rating on the Shanghai-listed shares of People’s Insurance Group of China (PICC) citing frothy valuations, knocking the stock down and sending ripples across the broader market.

** Another brokerage Huatai Securities also issued a “sell” rating on China Securities’ Shanghai shares, saying they are substantially overvalued.

** The A-share market faces a technical correction for the short term, as major stock indexes are now deep in the overbought territory, Zhang Gang, analyst with the Southwest Securities, noted in report.

** In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index dropped 1.5 percent to 28,347.24 points, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index lost 2 percent to 11,226.82.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 1.27 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei index was down 2.03 percent.

** The yuan was quoted at 6.7206 per U.S. dollar, 0.11 percent weaker than the previous close of 6.7133.

** The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were Ningbo Construction Co Ltd, which gained as much as 10.1 percent, followed by Wenfeng Great World Chain Development Corp, which climbed as much as 10.07 percent and Wuxi Taiji Industry Co Ltd, up by 10.03 percent.

** The largest percentage losses in the Shanghai index were Anhui Quanchai Engine Co Ltd, which slipped as much as 10.03 percent, followed by Everbright Jiabao Co Ltd , which lost up to 10 percent and DELIXI XINJIANG Transportation Co Ltd, down by 9.98 percent.

** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is up 24.56 percent, while China’s H-share index is up 13.2 percent. Shanghai stocks have risen 5.63 percent this month.

** The top gainers among H-shares were China Gas Holdings Ltd, up 2.91 percent, followed by China Tower Corp Ltd , gaining percent and China Mobile Ltd, up by -0.18 percent.

** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were ZhongAn Online P & C Insurance Co Ltd, which fell as much as 5.59 percent, Great Wall Motor Co Ltd, which lost 5.3 percent and Haitong Securities Co Ltd, down up to 5.0 percent.

** About 35.74 billion shares have traded so far on the Shanghai exchange, roughly 127.9 percent of the market’s 30-day moving average of 27.95 billion shares a day. The volume traded was 58.38 billion as of the last full trading day.

** As of 0417 GMT, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 23.61 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares.

Reporting by Luoyan Liu and John Ruwitch, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips