November 21, 2018 / 4:54 AM / 21 days ago

China stocks weaken amid global slump

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

* Hang Seng China Enterprises Index -0.3 pct

* Cheap oil drags on energy shares even as crude rebounds

SHANGHAI, Nov 21 (Reuters) - Shares in China edged lower in choppy trading on Wednesday as a continued selloff on Wall Street and a plunge in oil prices stirred uncertainty over the global economy.

** At the midday break, the Shanghai Composite index was down 0.13 percent at 2,642.46 points. The index plunged more than 2 percent on Tuesday. ** China’s blue-chip CSI300 index, however, eked out a 0.09 percent gain by midday after Tuesday’s 2.3 percent slump. Its financial sector sub-index is higher by 0.11 percent, the real estate index is up 1.48 percent and the healthcare sub-index is up 1.46 percent. ** The rise in property shares comes amid a growing debate over possible stimulus measures to boost growth. A senior central bank researcher said on Tuesday that China should rely more on fiscal policy to support the economy as downward pressure sharply increases.

** “In the near term, A-shares will tend to be volatile and range-bound,” analysts at Xinhu Futures said in a note, highlighting issues including ongoing uncertainty over trade, the forthcoming G20 meeting in Argentina, falling oil prices and the plunge in U.S. tech shares. Noting that market expectations for the U.S. Federal Reserve to hike rates at its December meeting have eased slightly, they said the Fed has begun to pay attention to the negative impact on growth of global monetary tightening. ** Chinese H-shares listed in Hong Kong fell 0.31 percent at 10,433.36, while the Hang Seng Index was down 0.16 percent at 25,798.95. ** The smaller Shenzhen index was up 0.1 percent and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was higher by 0.21 percent. ** Energy firms saw heavy losses after Brent crude fell more than 6 percent on Tuesday to its lowest level since late October 2017. The CSI300 energy sub-index is 1.8 percent lower and the HSCI Energy sub-index lost 2.2 percent. Brent crude bounced higher on Wednesday and was trading up 1.41 percent at $63.41 per barrel at 0410 GMT. ** Chinese technology shares fell after Apple Inc dropped 4.8 percent to its lowest since early May on Tuesday. A CSI sub-index tracking IT firms is 0.51 percent lower. But tech giant Tencent’s gains lifted the Hong Kong IT index by 1.60 percent. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.43 percent while Japan’s Nikkei index was down 0.43 percent. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.9448 per U.S. dollar, 0.01 percent firmer than the previous close of 6.9455. ** The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were Beijing Bashi Media Co Ltd, up 10.14 percent, followed by Gome Telecom Equipment Co Ltd, gaining 10.05 percent and Jiangsu Xinri E-Vehicle Co Ltd , up by 10.02 percent. ** The largest percentage losses in the Shanghai index were posted by Jiangsu Holly Corp, down 9.04 percent, followed by Sichuan Minjiang Hydropower Co Ltd, losing 8.25 percent and ENN Ecological Holdings Co Ltd , down by 7.76 percent. ** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is down 20 percent, while China’s H-share index is down 10.6 percent. Shanghai stocks have risen 1.65 percent this month. ** The top gainers among H-shares were Great Wall Motor Co Ltd , up 3.58 percent, followed by ZhongAn Online P & C Insurance Co Ltd, gaining 3.55 percent, and Air China Ltd, up by 2.2 percent. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were CNOOC Ltd, which has fallen 3.22 percent, China Petroleum & Chemical Corp, which has lost 2.2 percent, and China Mobile Ltd, down by 2.0 percent. ** The top gainer on the Hang Seng was Country Garden Holdings Co Ltd, up 2.93 percent, while the biggest loser was CNOOC Ltd, down 3.22 percent. ** About 11.84 billion shares have traded so far on the Shanghai exchange, roughly 67.0 percent of the market’s 30-day moving average of 17.68 billion shares a day. The volume traded was 21.59 billion as of the last full trading day. ** As of 04:22 GMT, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 18.15 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares.

Reporting by Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri

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