October 10, 2017 / 4:59 AM / 9 months ago

Profit-taking pulls down China stocks as earnings season begins; HK flat

* SSEC -0.3 pct, CSI300 -0.6 pct, HSI +0.1 pct

* Fangda Jinhua Chemical kicks in Q3 earnings season

* Pharmaceutical shares jump on govt vows to deepen medical reform

SHANGHAI, Oct 10 (Reuters) - China stocks fell on Tuesday, retreating from 21-month highs hit the previous session, as investors took profits on recent gainers and awaited third-quarter economic data and earnings reports.

The bluechip CSI300 index fell 0.6 percent to 3,858.45 points by the midday break, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.3 percent to 3,363.12.

Shenzhen-listed chemical maker Fangda Jinhua Chemical Technology Co Ltd kicked off China’s quarterly earnings season with a 187 percent surge in nine-month profit.

But the stock ended the morning up just 0.2 percent as traders said a strong showing had already been priced-in.

There was also muted reaction to comments from the Statistics Bureau on Tuesday that China will have no problem meeting its economic growth target of around 6.5 percent this year, and may even beat it. Such an outcome had been widely expected after a robust start to the year.

Economic data in coming weeks is expected to show solid growth continued into September, though many China watchers still maintain there will be some loss of momentum in coming months in response to higher borrowing costs and a cooling housing market.

Wang Jun, a strategist at Hua Chuang Securities, expected markets to be stable this month ahead of a key Communist Party Congress starting on Oct. 18. The twice-a-decade event will see a leadership reshuffle and discussions on long-term political and economic priorities.

Property and financial shares corrected following Monday’s jump, as investors took profits.

But the pharmaceutical sector firmed, after the government vowed to deepen medial reforms.

Hong Kong shares were little changed.

The Hang Seng index edged up 0.1 percent to 28,353.55, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index slipped 0.3 percent to 11,355.57.

Reporting by Samuel Shen and John Ruwitch; Editing by Kim Coghill

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