February 22, 2019 / 4:18 AM / a month ago

Shanghai stocks flat as investors watch trade talks; Hong Kong down

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

* U.S., China haggle over toughest issues in trade war talks

* China’s January home price growth slips to 9-month low

SHANGHAI, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Shanghai stocks recouped earlier losses to be roughly flat on Friday morning, as investors watched the development of Sino-U.S. trade talks.

** The CSI300 index fell 0.1 percent to 3,439.63 points at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index was unchanged at 2,752.73 points.

** Investors continue to closely watch high-level talks between U.S. and Chinese trade negotiators in Washington, with little more than a week left before a U.S.-imposed deadline for an agreement expires, triggering higher tariffs.

** Top U.S. and Chinese trade negotiators haggled on Thursday over the details of a set of agreements aimed at ending their trade war, just one week before a Washington-imposed deadline for a deal expires and triggers higher U.S. tariffs.

** Reuters reported exclusively on Wednesday that the two sides are starting to sketch out an agreement on structural issues, drafting language for six memorandums of understanding on proposed Chinese reforms.

** Property stocks slid, with the CSI China mainland real estate index easing 0.5 percent by midday, after data showed China’s January home price growth slipped to a 9-month low.

** Growth in China’s new home prices eased slightly in January from December, in initial signs the property market is cooling as the economy slows, but price gains in annual terms accelerated.

** The Hang Seng index dropped 0.3 percent, to 28,545.23 points, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index lost 0.4 percent, to 11,266.61.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index fell 0.17 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei index was down 0.29 percent.

** The yuan was quoted at 6.7294 per U.S. dollar, 0.14 percent weaker than the previous close of 6.7198.

** The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were Shanghai Aerospace Automobile Electromechanical Co Ltd, up 10.09 percent, followed by Shanghai DZH Ltd, gaining 10.08 percent and Inly Media Co Ltd, up by 10.04 percent.

** The largest percentage losers in the Shanghai index were Pengqi Technology Development Co Ltd, down 6.5 percent, followed by Center International Group Co Ltd , losing 6.3 percent and Shantou Dongfeng Printing Co Ltd, down by 5.92 percent.

** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is up 10.34 percent, while China’s H-share index is up 11.7 percent. Shanghai stocks have risen 6.47 percent this month.

** The top gainers among H-shares were Air China Ltd , up 3.29 percent, followed by Great Wall Motor Co Ltd , gaining 2.07 percent and Guangzhou Automobile Group Co Ltd, up by 1.69 percent.

** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were Anhui Conch Cement Co Ltd, which has fallen 3.17 percent, SINOPHARM GROUP CO LTD, which has lost 1.9 percent and China Huarong Asset Management Co Ltd, down by 1.7 percent.

** As of 04:06 GMT, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 17.00 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares.

Reporting by Luoyan Liu and John Ruwitch; Editing by Shreejay Sinha

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