March 22, 2019 / 4:55 AM / 7 months ago

China stocks fall ahead of fresh trade talks; Tencent drags Hong Kong index

SHANGHAI, March 22 (Reuters) - China stocks fell on Friday morning led by financial shares, as the market’s rally showed signs of fatigue ahead of a fresh round of Sino-U.S. talks next week. ** Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Sang also dipped, dragged by index benchmark Tencent Holdings following the company’s lacklustre earnings. ** The CSI300 index fell 1.0 percent to 3,798.76 points at the end of the morning session, but the gauge was still up 1.4 percent on a weekly basis. The Shanghai Composite index lost 0.8 percent, to 3,077.56 points, and is up 1.8 percent so far this week. ** The Hang Seng index dropped 0.5 percent to 28,913.55 points, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index lost 0.9 percent to 11,444.43. ** With hopes for a Sino-U.S. trade deal largely priced in, news of a new round of trade talks failed to excite the market. ** A U.S. trade delegation headed by Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will visit China on March 28-29 for the next round of negotiations, China’s commerce ministry said on Thursday. ** In Hong Kong, sentiment was soured by a second-day drop in Tencent. Tencent Holdings signalled it will reduce its reliance on gaming in China, where a regulatory review and one-off investment costs led to its sharpest-ever quarterly profit drop and slowest annual profit growth in 13 years. ** China’s CSI300 financial sector sub-index was lower by 1.38 percent while the healthcare sub-index fell 0.26 percent. ** The smaller Shenzhen index was down 1.09 percent while the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was weaker by 1.89 percent. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was barely changed while Japan’s Nikkei index was down 0.12 percent. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.7036 per U.S. dollar, 0.06 percent weaker than the previous close of 6.6998.

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

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