July 30, 2019 / 4:36 AM / 4 months ago

China, HK stocks firm ahead of Fed meet; STAR Market extends gains

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

* HK->Shanghai Connect daily quota used 0.8%, Shanghai->HK daily quota used 3.3%

* FTSE China A50 +0.8%

SHANGHAI, July 30 (Reuters) - China and Hong Kong stocks rallied on Tuesday, ahead of an expected U.S. interest rate cut this week.

** The CSI300 index rose 0.7% to 3,882.65 points at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index also gained 0.7% to 2,960.18 points.

** The Hang Seng index added 0.3% to 28,202.04 points, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index gained 0.7% to 10,855.64 points.

** The U.S. Federal Reserve is scheduled to begin a two-day policy meeting later on Tuesday, at which it is widely expected to lower interest rates by 25 basis points. If implemented, it would be the central bank’s first rate cut in a decade.

** Also in focus were U.S.-China trade negotiations due to begin in Shanghai on Tuesday, although expectations for progress during the two-day meeting are low with the markets hoping the two sides can at least detail commitments for “goodwill” gestures.

** Most stocks on the newly launched STAR Market extended gains, with only four of the 25 firms posting modest losses by lunch break.

** Structural opportunities in China’s tech-related sectors are worth attention, given Beijing’s urgency to seek tech independence amid a bitter trade war with the United States, investment bank CICC noted in report.

** Tech sector is expected to be in focus following the official launch of the STAR Market, CICC added.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.34% while Japan’s Nikkei index was up 0.32%.

** The yuan was quoted at 6.8878 per U.S. dollar, 0.07% firmer than the previous close of 6.8926.

** The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were Shanghai Wondertek Software Co Ltd , up 10.01%, followed by Zhejiang Huatie Construction Safety Science and Technology Co Ltd, gaining 10% and Anhui Xinli Finance Co Ltd, up by 9.95%.

** The largest percentage losses in the Shanghai index were Beijing Qianjing Landscape Co Ltd, down 5.12%, followed by Beijing Xinwei Technology Group Co Ltd, losing 4.94% and FUREN Group Pharmaceutical Co Ltd, down by 3.95%.

** The top gainers among H-shares were New China Life Insurance Co Ltd, up 3.38%, followed by China Pacific Insurance Group Co Ltd, gaining 3.3% and China Life Insurance Co Ltd, up by 1.99%.

** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were Guangdong Investment Ltd, which has fallen 1.32%, SINOPHARM GROUP CO LTD, which has lost 0.8% and Hengan International Group Company Ltd, down by 0.8%.

** About 8.86 billion shares have traded so far on the Shanghai exchange, roughly 49.3% of the market’s 30-day moving average of 17.97 billion shares a day. The volume traded was 12.80 billion as of last trading day.

** As of 0415 GMT, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 29.50% over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares.

Reporting by Luoyan Liu and John Ruwitch, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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