China blue-chip index flat but small-caps rise; Hong Kong down on growth worries

SHANGHAI, June 11 (Reuters) - China’s blue-chip share index was little changed on Thursday, but start-up board ChiNext continued its uptrend on reform hopes. Hong Kong stocks fell on a downbeat economic outlook from the U.S. Federal Reserve.

** The CSI300 index was unchanged at 4,038.84 points at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.2%, to 2,950.78 points. Shenzhen’s ChiNext rose 1.4% ahead of an imminent reform that will introduce a U.S.-style IPO system to the start-up board.

** In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index dropped 1.0%, to 24,791.36 points, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index lost 0.8%, to 10,061.80.

** The China market is buttressed by hopes of more government support. New bank lending in China fell more than expected in May but broader credit growth quickened as the central bank continues to ease policy to get the economy back on solid footing after the coronavirus crisis.

** But sentiment in Hong Kong was dented by weak overnight performance on Wall Street, as well as fresh concerns on global growth.

** In a challenge to the stock market’s recent optimism, the Fed predicted the U.S. economy would shrink 6.5% in 2020 and unemployment would still be at 9.3% at year’s end.

** Data out earlier had also shown core U.S. consumer prices fell for a third straight month in May, the longest stretch of declines on record.

** In China, IT, healthcare and raw material stocks stocks rose, but consumer and energy shares fell. (Reporting by Samuel Shen and Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)