September 20, 2018 / 4:37 AM / 6 months ago

China stocks retreat as trade war fears persist; Hang Seng flat

* SSEC -0.1 pct, CSI300 -0.1 pct, HSI 0.0 pct

* Meituan Dianping soars on Hong Kong debut

* Cloud computing shares gain on Beijing investment plan

SHANGHAI, Sept 20 (Reuters) - Shares in China fell on Thursday morning, turning around from two days of gains, as investor sentiment remained fragile following the latest volley of tariffs in the Sino-U.S. trade war.

** At the midday break, the Shanghai Composite index was down 3.32 points, or 0.12 percent, at 2,727.53. ** China’s blue-chip CSI300 index was down 0.08 percent, with its financial sector sub-index lower by 0.13 percent, the consumer staples sector up 0.25 percent, the real estate index down 0.58 percent and the healthcare sub-index down 0.42 percent. ** Chinese H-shares listed in Hong Kong rose 0.23 percent at 10,766.63, while the Hang Seng Index was down 0.02 percent at 27,400.60. ** Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma said the company can no longer meet its promise to create 1 million jobs in the United States due to U.S.-China trade tensions, Chinese news agency Xinhua reported on Wednesday. He also said the trade war could last for a long time. ** Meituan Dianping soared on its debut in Hong Kong on Thursday, valuing the Chinese online food delivery-to-ticketing services firm at about $55 billion and sending a positive signal to companies lining up to list in the financial hub. ** Index heavyweight and Meituan Dianping backer Tencent Holdings Ltd also jumped as the company continued to buy back shares for a ninth consecutive day. It later pared gains and was up 0.5 percent at midday. ** The smaller Shenzhen index was down 0.16 percent and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was weaker by 0.34 percent. ** Shares of Chinese firms engaged in cloud computing and big data businesses gained, as China’s state planner said it had reached an agreement with a major Chinese policy bank to invest 100 billion yuan ($14.60 billion) in big data, cloud computing and smart city projects over the next 5 years. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.17 percent while Japan’s Nikkei index was up 0.15 percent. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.8517 per U.S. dollar, 0.02 percent weaker than the previous close of 6.8506. ** The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were Ningbo Heli Mould Technology Co Ltd, up 10.03 percent, followed by Ningbo Yunsheng Co Ltd, gaining 10 percent and Shenzhen Geoway Co Ltd, up by 10 percent. ** The largest percentage losses in the Shanghai index were Pengxin International Mining Co Ltd, down 10 percent, followed by Sichuan Golden Summit Group Joint Stock Co Ltd, losing 10 percent and Guizhou Guihang Automotive Components Co Ltd, down by 6.23 percent. ** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is down 17.43 percent, while China’s H-share index is down 8.3 percent. Shanghai stocks have risen 0.21 percent this month. ** The top gainers among H-shares were ZhongAn Online P & C Insurance Co Ltd, up 2.21 percent, followed by Air China Ltd, gaining 1.81 percent and China Minsheng Banking Corp Ltd, up by 1.59 percent. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were China Gas Holdings Ltd, which has fallen 1.88 percent, CNOOC Ltd, which has lost 1.7 percent, and Huaneng Power International Inc, down by 1.3 percent. ** About 6.60 billion shares have traded so far on the Shanghai exchange, roughly 59.8 percent of the market’s 30-day moving average of 11.04 billion shares a day. The volume traded was 14.16 billion as of the last full trading day. ** As of 04:15 GMT, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 18.93 percent 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. ** The price-to-earnings ratio of the Shanghai index was 11.52 as of the last full trading day, while the dividend yield was 2.8 percent. ** So far this week, the market capitalisation of the Shanghai stock index has risen by 1.84 percent to 29.12 trillion yuan. ** In Hong Kong, the sub-index of the Hang Seng index tracking energy shares dipped 1.1 percent while the IT sector rose 0.2 percent. The top gainer on Hang Seng was Swire Pacific Ltd, up 1.62 percent, while the biggest loser was Sino Biopharmaceutical Ltd, which was down 2.13 percent.

($1 = 6.8511 Chinese yuan)

Reporting by Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier

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