May 19, 2016 / 7:17 AM / 2 years ago

China stocks edge down amid concern on interest rates, growth

SHANGHAI, May 19 (Reuters) - China stocks were little changed on Thursday, and trading volume shrank to near 3-1/2-month lows as many investors sat on their hands amid economic worries and revived concerns U.S. interest rates will go up soon.

The blue-chip CSI300 index fell 0.2 percent, to 3,062.50, while the Shanghai Composite Index was virtually unchanged, at 2,806.91 points.

Investors were cautious due the growing possibility of a U.S. hike in June, after minutes from the last Federal Reserve meeting showed central bank officials felt the U.S. economy could be ready for such a move.

The China market has already been sluggish recently on fears that Beijing is shifting policy away from rapid credit expansion to stimulate growth.

In further evidence there may be such a shift, the State Council, or China’s cabinet, at a meeting on Wednesday, urged state-owned companies to step up efforts in restructuring and cutting excessive capacity.

Most sectors fell on Thursday, but resource shares rose, after state-owned steel and coal companies were instructed to cut production capacity by 10 percent over 2016 and 2017, and to accelerate mergers while cutting losses. (Reporting by Samuel Shen and Pete Sweeney; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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