January 29, 2019 / 4:39 AM / 3 months ago

China, HK stocks fall as U.S. charges against Huawei hit sentiment

SHANGHAI, Jan 29 (Reuters) - China and Hong Kong stocks fell on Tuesday, as Washington’s sweeping criminal charges against Chinese telecom giant Huawei dampened prospects for a Sino-U.S. trade deal, hitting investors’ sentiments.

** But losses on the mainland were limited by Beijing’s fresh measures to prop the market and stimulate the sluggish economy.

** The CSI300 index fell 0.1 percent to 3,180.57 at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.5 percent to 2,583.94.

** Chinese H-shares listed in Hong Kong fell 0.57 percent to 10,819.94, while the Hang Seng index was down 0.59 percent at 27,413.16.

** Investor sentiment, already shaken by pessimism over global growth, took another hit after the U.S. Justice Department unsealed indictments against China’s top telecom equipment maker Huawei, accusing it of bank and wire fraud to evade Iran sanctions and conspiring to steal trade secrets from T-Mobile US Inc.

** The jolt to Huawei could undermine prospects for a trade deal between the economic giants as markets nervously await a fresh round of trade talks with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He set to meet U.S. officials on Wednesday and Thursday.

** To aid China’s struggling economy, the country’s state planner on Tuesday unveiled a flurry of measures aimed at spurring sales of items ranging from cars and appliances to information services.

** China’s insurance regulators encouraged insurers to buy more stocks and bonds, while the country’s securities watchdog put out a statement at lunch time denying a rumour that the key task for the regulator in 2019 is to promote the mechanism for short-selling. ** China’s CSI300 financial sector sub-index was higher by 0.07 percent and the healthcare sub-index up 0.56 percent. ** The smaller Shenzhen index was down 1.37 percent and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was weaker by 1.34 percent. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.55 percent while Japan’s Nikkei index was down 0.55 percent. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.7448 per U.S. dollar, percent firmer than the previous close of 6.745. ** The biggest percentage gainers on the main Shanghai Composite index were shares of Beijing Hualian Hypermarket Co Ltd , up 10.07 percent, followed by Nanning Department Store Co Ltd, and Shanghai Tianchen Co Ltd , up 10.05 percent and 9.94 percent, respectively. ** The biggest percentage losers on the Shanghai index were shares of Zhejiang Feida Environmental Science & Technology Co Ltd, down 10.07 percent, followed by Hunan Tyen Machinery Co Ltd, losing 10.02 percent and Gansu Gangtai Holding Group Co Ltd, down by 10 percent.

Reporting by Samuel Shen and John Ruwitch; Editing by Rashmi Aich

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