China shares flat as market awaits central bank cues

* SSEC unchanged, CSI300 -0.1%, HSI +0.1%

* Trump toughens rhetoric on China, says will take economic pain

* Central bankers to meet this week; China pushes rate reform

HONG KONG, August 21 (Reuters) - Stocks in Shanghai were little changed on Wednesday as investors awaited more signals on policy easing at home and abroad, with trade risks continuing to weigh on sentiment.

** At the midday break, the Shanghai Composite index was
flat at 2,880.52 points, the blue-chip CSI300 index
was down 0.1% but Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was up by
the same margin at 26,260.52.
** CSI300's financial sector sub-index lower by
0.1%, the consumer staples sector down 0.5%, the
real estate index up 0.2% and the healthcare
sub-index down 0.9%.
** Chinese H-shares listed in Hong Kong rose 0.4%. The
smaller Shenzhen index was down 0.1% and the start-up
board ChiNext Composite index was also weaker by 0.1%.
** U.S. President Donald Trump toughed his trade rhetoric on
Tuesday, saying he had to confront China even if it caused
short-term harm to the U.S. economy because Beijing had been
cheating Washington for decades.
** Markets across Asia are placing hopes on central banks to
step in and boost growth, as central bankers gather in Jackson
Hole later this week.
** Traders are betting for the Fed to deliver another 25 basis
point cut next month, and U.S. central bank releases minutes of
its last policy-setting meeting later on Wednesday.
** In China, the People's Bank of China lowered its new lending
reference rate slightly on Tuesday and kicked off interest rate
reforms designed to reduce corporate borrowing costs.
** Chuancai Securities' analysts said in a note on Wednesday
banking stocks are due to take a hit as their interest margins
narrow and it will some time to determine if the reform will
stop "high risk assets like loans to small and micro enterprises
being squeezed out (of the market)".
** Kaiyuan Securities' analysts are betting on further policy
support to hold up the stock market, saying in a note on
Wednesday that "we can't rule out that, as we get closer to
National Day (on October 1), the (country's) management will
want to maintain stability."
** Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index
was flat while Japan's Nikkei index was
down 0.4%.
** The yuan was quoted at 7.0546 per U.S. dollar,
0.1% firmer than the previous close.
** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is up 15.5%, but
it has declined 1.8% month-to-date.
** As the midday break, China's A-shares were trading at a
premium of 30.12% over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares.
** The Shanghai stock index is below its 50-day moving average
and above its 200-day moving average.

(Reporting by Noah Sin)

2019-08-21 07:09:16

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