March 28, 2019 / 5:07 AM / a month ago

Shanghai stocks pare most losses; Beijing vows further financial sector opening

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

* China’s premier pledges more financial sector opening to foreign investors

* China makes unprecedented proposals on tech transfer, trade challenges remain -U.S. officials

SHANGHAI, March 28 (Reuters) - Shanghai stocks pared most of the early losses on Thursday after Beijing vowed further opening up of its financial sectors and on some progress in the Sino-U.S. trade talks.

** The CSI300 index rose 0.1 percent to 3,746.82 at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.3 percent to 3,014.83, after dropping as much as 1 percent.

** There was some relief after a Reuters report said that the United States and China have made progress in all areas under discussion in trade talks, with unprecedented movement on the touchy issue of forced technology transfers.

** China will allow greater market access for foreign banks and insurance companies, especially in its financial services sector, Premier Li Keqiang said on Thursday.

** Li’s remarks, made in a speech at the annual Boao forum held on China’s southern island of Hainan, added to speculation that China might soon announce new rules that will allow foreign banks and insurance firms to increase their presence in China.

** The CSI300 financials index declined 0.5 percent by the lunchbreak, recovering some of earlier losses.

** Consumer shares outperformed with a 2.1 percent rise, led by Wuliangye Yibin climbing to 14-month high on robust profit growth.

** “Consolidation would be needed after a strong rally this year, though the valuations for the A-share market remain relatively low,” Northeast Securities wrote in report.

** In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index was unchanged at 28,736.13, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index lost 0.1 percent to 11,292.50.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.08 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei index was down 1.33 percent.

** The yuan was quoted at 6.7305 per U.S. dollar, 0.06 percent weaker than the previous close of 6.7265.

** The largest percentage gainers on the main Shanghai Composite index were Harbin Pharmaceutical Group Co Ltd , up 10.07 percent, followed by Chongqing Gangjiu Co Ltd, gaining 10.05 percent and Beijing Jingcheng Machinery Electric Co Ltd, up by 10.04 percent.

** The largest percentage losers on the Shanghai index were Zhejiang CONBA Pharmaceutical Co Ltd, down 10.02 percent, followed by China National Software & Service Co Ltd , losing 10.01 percent and Suzhou Jin Hong Shun Auto Parts Co Ltd, down by 10.01 percent.

** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is up 21.2 percent, while China’s H-share index is up 11.7 percent. Shanghai stocks have risen 2.78 percent this month.

** The top gainers among H-shares were Great Wall Motor Co Ltd, up 3.41 percent, followed by Air China Ltd , gaining 3.14 percent and SINOPHARM GROUP CO LTD , up by 2.38 percent.

** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were Byd Co Ltd, which has fallen 2.54 percent, Guangzhou Automobile Group Co Ltd, which has lost 2.2 percent and Hengan International Group Company Ltd, down by 1.9 percent.

** As of 04:28 GMT, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 21.90 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares.

Reporting by Luoyan Liu and John Ruwitch; Editing by Rashmi Aich

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