July 31, 2020 / 4:54 AM / 16 days ago

China stocks flat in choppy trade, virus resurgence weighs

* SSEC -0.05%, CSI300 +0.14%, HSI 0.22%

* China’s factories accelerate recovery in July

* China reports highest daily number of new virus cases in nearly 5 months

Beijing, July 31 (Reuters) - China stocks were little changed in a choppy session on Friday as profit-taking erased earlier gains, while uncertainties about resurgence of coronavirus infections also weighed on the sentiment.

** At the midday break, the Shanghai Composite index was down 0.05% at 3,285.12.

** The index gained as much as 1.4% in early trade after official data showed China’s factory activity expanded at faster pace in July despite disruptions from floods and a resurgence in coronavirus cases around the world.

** China’s blue-chip CSI300 index was up 0.14%, with its financial sector sub-index higher by 0.02%, the consumer staples sector down 0.05%, the real estate index down 0.37% and the healthcare sub-index down 0.39%. ** Chinese H-shares listed in Hong Kong rose 0.44% to 10,141.25, while the Hang Seng Index was up 0.22% at 24,764.17. ** The smaller Shenzhen index was up 0.32% and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was higher by 0.9%. ** China’s health authority reported 127 new coronavirus cases on the mainland on July 30, up from 105 the previous day, the highest daily number since March 5.

** Surging infections also threatened recovery in the U.S. economy after it suffered the biggest blow to GDP since the Great Depression in the second quarter as the COVID-19 pandemic shattered consumer and business spending.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.07%, while Japan’s Nikkei index was down 2.31%. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.988 per U.S. dollar, 0.31% firmer than the previous close of 7.0096.

Reporting by Zhang Yan in Beijing, and Andrew Galbraith in Shanghai; Editing by Rashmi Aich

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