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Mercados

China stocks largely flat Sino-U.S. tensions counter recovery hopes

* SSEC -0.1%, CSI300 0.0%, HSI -0.3%

* HK->Shanghai Connect daily quota used 1.1%, Shanghai->HK daily quota used 2.1%

* FTSE China A50 +0.1%

SHANGHAI, Sept 3 (Reuters) - China stocks slipped on Thursday, as worries about Sino-U.S. tensions outweighed optimism stemming from upbeat services sector data.

** The CSI300 index was unchanged at 4,842.91 at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.1%, to 3,402.69.

** The tech-heavy start-up board ChiNext eased 0.2%, while the STAR50 index shed 0.8%.

** The United States said on Wednesday it would now require senior Chinese diplomats to get State Department approval before visiting U.S. university campuses or holding cultural events with more than 50 people outside mission grounds.

** The recovery in China’s service sector activity extended into a fourth straight month in August, an industry survey showed, with companies hiring more people for the first time since January.

** The services sector, which accounts for about 60% of the economy and half of urban jobs, had been slower to return to growth initially than large manufacturers, but the recovery has gathered pace in recent months as coronavirus curbs eased.

** Consumer and healthcare firms climbed following the upbeat data.

** Heavyweight banking shares extended declines, with the CSI300 banks index down 0.4%, and were set for a fourth session of losses after banks reported sharp profit falls in the first half.

** The benchmark Shanghai index has been consolidating around the 3,400-level, and a rally in heavyweights including securities and insurance firms is key for the index breaching the upside resistance, Yuekai Securities said in a report.

** In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index dropped 0.4%, to 25,031.77, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index lost 0.1%, to 9,989.98.

** Hong Kong will re-open gyms and massage parlours and extend night-time dining hours from Friday, easing tough coronavirus curbs as new daily infections in the Asian financial hub drop into the single digits. (Reporting by Luoyan Liu and Brenda Goh; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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