November 28, 2019 / 7:23 AM / 11 days ago

China stocks end lower as Hong Kong tensions rekindle trade doubts

SHANGHAI, Nov 28 (Reuters) - China stocks closed lower on Thursday as investors feared the U.S. government’s decision to sign a bill backing protesters in Hong Kong could derail an interim trade deal between Washington and Beijing.

** The blue-chip CSI300 index ended 0.3% lower at 3,862.30, while the Shanghai Composite Index closed down 0.5% at 2,889.69.

** China warned the United States on Thursday that it would take “firm counter measures” after Trump on Wednesday signed into law congressional legislation, which supported the Hong Kong protesters. It brings fresh uncertainty to the trade talks aimed at scaling down the damaging tariff war.

** Investors are also worried about China’s economic slowdown. China should lower its economic growth target to around 6% for 2020 and step up stimulus as the trade war has exacerbated a protracted slowdown, government advisers said ahead of a key leadership meeting on the economy.

** Premier Li Keqiang was quoted as saying during a cabinet meeting on Wednesday that China will speed up reforms to help build a market-based, globalised business environment and break investment barriers for all kinds of companies.

** China has also brought forward 1 trillion yuan ($142.07 billion) of the 2020 local government special bonds quota to this year as it seeks to avert a sharper economic slowdown.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.17%, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed down 0.12%.

** At 0701 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 7.0269 per U.S. dollar, 0.01% firmer than the previous close of 7.0279.

** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is up 15.9% and the CSI300 climbed 28.3%, while China’s H-share index listed in Hong Kong is up 4.4%. Shanghai stocks have declined 1.34% this month.

** As of 0702 GMT, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 27.60% over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. (Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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