July 3, 2019 / 5:26 AM / 3 months ago

China stocks drop as trade deal hopes falter

* SSEC -0.8%, CSI300 -0.7%, HSI -0.3%

* China services sector growth slows in June

* Yuan weakens on dovish policy comments

SHANGHAI, July 3 (Reuters) - Chinese shares dropped on Wednesday as investor hopes for progress in China-U.S. trade negotiations faltered, while new data showed more signs of strain on domestic economy. ** Shortly after the midday break, the Shanghai Composite index was down 0.78% at 3,020.20 points. ** China’s blue-chip CSI300 index was down 0.68%, with its financial sector sub-index lower by 0.62%, the consumer staples sector slipped 0.69% and the healthcare sub-index fell 0.77%. ** Chinese H-shares listed in Hong Kong dropped 0.71% to 10,903.02, while the Hang Seng Index was down 0.26% at 28,799.89. ** The smaller Shenzhen index was down 0.72% and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was weaker by 1.07%. ** Growth in China’s services sector slowed to a four-month low in June as new orders from overseas customers fell, a private survey showed on Wednesday, adding to signs of strain on the economy as the U.S.-Sino trade war drags on. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.42%, while Japan’s Nikkei index was down 0.79%. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.885 per U.S. dollar, 0.16% weaker than the previous close of 6.8738. Dovish policy comments by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang weighed on the currency. ** Around midday, the largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were Beijing Capital Co Ltd , up 10.06%, followed by Harbin High-Tech Group Co Ltd, gaining 10.03% and Black Peony Group Co Ltd , up by 9.97%. ** The largest percentage losses in the Shanghai index were Panda Financial Holding Corp Ltd, down 10.01%, followed by Panda Financial Holding Corp Ltd, losing 9.89% and Dalian Sunasia Tourism Holding Co Ltd, down by 9.59%. ** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is up 22.06%, while China’s H-share index is up 8.5%. Shanghai stocks rose 2.18% this month. ** The top gainers among H-shares around midday were China Resources Land Ltd, up 2.75%, followed by China Vanke Co Ltd, gaining 2.49% and CSPC Pharmaceutical Group Ltd, up by 1.72%. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were CITIC Securities Co Ltd, which dropped 2.65%, PetroChina Co Ltd, which lost 2.3% and Haitong Securities Co Ltd , which fell 2.1%. ** In Hong Kong, the sub-index of the Hang Seng index tracking energy shares dipped 1.5%, while the IT sector fell 1.3%. The top gainer on the Hang Seng was China Mengniu Dairy Co Ltd, up 4.56%, while the biggest loser was WH Group Ltd, which was down 2.53%.

Reporting by Andrew Galbraith, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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