* SSEC +0.2%, CSI300 -0.1%, HSI +0.1%, HSCE flat
* China’s industrial profits post steepest fall in 8 months
* U.S.-China phase-1 deal in the “final throes” - Trump
HONG KONG, Nov 27 (Reuters) - China stocks struggled to make headway on Wednesday even as U.S. President Donald Trump signalled a trade deal with Beijing was close, as poor industrial profits underlined the pressure on the country’s economy from the protracted tariff war.
** At the midday break, the Shanghai Composite index edged up about 0.2% to 2,911.76 points as positive signals on U.S.-China trade talks gave some comfort to investors. The index was in negative territory for much of the morning session. ** The blue-chip CSI300 index was down 0.1%. CSI300’s financial sector sub-index fell by 0.1%, the consumer staples sector rose 0.3% and the healthcare sub-index was down 0.2%. ** The smaller Shenzhen index rose 0.1% and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was higher by 0.3%. ** Profits at China’s industrial firms shrank at their fastest pace in eight months in October, official data released on Wednesday showed. ** Industrial profits fell 9.9% in October year-on-year to 427.56 billion yuan ($60.74 billion), marking the biggest drop since January-February period and compared with a 5.3% decline in September. ** Trump said Washington was in the “final throes” of work on a deal that would defuse a 16-month trade war with Beijing, but also underscored Washington’s support for protesters in Hong Kong, a potential huge sore point with China. ** China said on Tuesday it has summoned the U.S. ambassador to protest the passage in the U.S. Congress of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act. ** MSCI has completed the final phase of the 20% inclusion of Chinese A-shares in MSCI indexes, the index publisher said on Tuesday. A-shares now weigh 4% in the benchmark MSCI Emerging Markets Indexes, MSCI said in a press release. ** In Hong Kong, Chinese H-shares was pretty much flat while the Hang Seng Index gained less than 0.1% to 26,926.30. ** One of Hong Kong’s main highway links, the Cross-Harbour Tunnel, reopened early on Wednesday as a lockdown of the nearby Polytechnic University appeared to be drawing to a close with teams still combing the campus for remaining protesters. ** The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were Xinjiang Talimu Agriculture Development Co Ltd , Zhejiang Tiancheng Controls Co Ltd and Sichuan Golden Summit Group Joint Stock Co Ltd, all up by 10.1%. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.3% while Japan’s Nikkei index was up 0.5%. ** As of 04:00 GMT, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 27.57% over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. ** The Shanghai stock index is below its 50-day moving average and below its 200-day moving average.
Reporting by Noah Sin; Editing by Aditya Soni