August 24, 2016 / 4:51 AM / 2 years ago

China blue-chip stock index edge down on financials, Hong Kong also down

* SSEC flat, CSI300 -0.1 pct, HSI -0.7 pct

* HK->Shanghai Connect daily quota used 1 pct, Shanghai->HK daily quota used 5.7 pct

BEIJING, Aug 24 (Reuters) - China stocks were down modestly at the lunch break on Wednesday with the blue-chip CSI 300 index edging down marginally, dragged by financial shares amid receding expectations of further aggressive monetary easings.

The CSI300 index, which tracks the largest listed companies trading in Shanghai and Shenzhen, fell 0.1 percent, to 3,337.05 points at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index was unchanged at 3,088.88 points.

Analysts said some investors quickly took profit in recent gainers, especially in heavyweight stocks including financial, consumer staples and property shares.

“Investor sentiment was slightly down after the main share indexes hit new highs at the beginning last week,” said Xia Zhengzhou, a strategy analyst at Kaiyuan Securities in Shanxi.

He said that investors adopted a wait-and-see attitude, noting that the total trading volume of the mainland markets was hovering at similar levels to the previous week.

China CSI300 stock index futures for September fell 0.1 percent to 3,308.2, 28.85 points below the current value of the underlying index.

China’s central bank on Wednesday injected cash into money markets through 14-day reverse repurchase agreements for the first time since February, and traders said the prospect of more liquidity injections trimmed expectations of further aggressive monetary easing.

Traders said the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) may be expanding its strategy of using targeted, short-term injections rather than cutting interest rates or banks’ reserve requirements (RRR).

The consequent rise in China’s benchmark 10-year government bond yields appeared to reduce the allure of high-dividend blue-chip stocks.

As of noon, the financial subindex was down 0.43 percent.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index dropped 0.7 percent, to 22,848.38 points.

The Hong Kong China Enterprises Index lost 1.0 percent, to 9,495.76.

Total volume of A shares traded in Shanghai was 7.69 billion shares, while Shenzhen volume was 9.81 billion shares.

($1 = 6.6536 Chinese yuan renminbi)

Reporting By Winni Zhou and Nicholas Heath; Editing by Shri Navaratnam

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