October 18, 2019 / 5:01 AM / a month ago

China, Hong Kong stocks fall on downbeat GDP data

* SSEC -0.6%, CSI300 -0.7%, HSI -0.1%

* HK->Shanghai Connect daily quota used 0%

* Shanghai->HK daily quota used 2.1%

* FTSE China A50 -0.7%

SHANGHAI, Oct 18 (Reuters) - China and Hong Kong stocks retreated on Friday following weak GDP data, though losses were capped by hopes that Beijing would step up stimulus to bolster the economy, amid a bruising trade war with the United States.

** The CSI300 index fell 0.7%, to 3,899.67 points at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.6%, to 2,959.76.

** The Hang Seng index dropped 0.1%, to 26,824.37, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises index was unchanged at 10,592.13.

** China’s economic growth slowed more than expected to 6% year-on-year in the third quarter, the weakest pace in almost three decades, hit by soft factory production amid the prolonged trade war and lacklustre demand at home.

** The third-quarter performance was also at the bottom end of the government’s full-year economic growth target of 6.0%-6.5%.

** The miss of the GDP growth rate in the third quarter is not that big, as China’s economy remains in a downward trend, which could prompt the central government to roll out more stimulative measures to underpin the economy, Zhang Gang, analyst with Central Securities said.

** Focus still remains on the progress of the proposed Sino-U.S. trade deal.

** China hopes to reach a phased agreement in the trade dispute with the United States and cancel tariffs as soon as possible, the Commerce Ministry said on Thursday, adding that trade wars had no winners.

** On the mainland, sectors fell across the board, though the defensive healthcare firms gained 0.4% by midday.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.16% while Japan’s Nikkei index was up 0.25%.

** The yuan was quoted at 7.0769 per U.S. dollar, nearly flat with the previous close of 7.0772.

** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is up 19.38%, while China’s H-share index is up 4.6%. Shanghai stocks have risen 2.48% this month.

** About 7.31 billion shares have traded so far on the Shanghai exchange, roughly 39.8% of the market’s 30-day moving average of 18.36 billion shares a day. The volume traded was 12.25 billion as of the last full trading day.

** As of 04:18 GMT, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 29.12% over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. (Reporting by Luoyan Liu and Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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