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HK stocks slip as Macau rumour and tech stocks weigh; China up on higher PPI
December 9, 2016 / 5:12 AM / a year ago

HK stocks slip as Macau rumour and tech stocks weigh; China up on higher PPI

* SSEC 0.7 pct, CSI300 0.9 pct, HSI -0.3 pct

* Casino shares slump on reports saying Macau cash withdrawal change

* China releases highest PPI in 5 years

* Mainland blue-chips on track to snap 8-week winning streak

SHANGHAI, Dec 9 (Reuters) - Hong Kong stocks slipped on Friday morning, despite overnight strength in U.S. and European stocks, with sentiment soured by a slump in casino shares after reports Macau had put a limit on ATM cash withdrawals.

The benchmark Hang Seng index dropped 0.3 percent, to 22,797.94 points, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index gained 0.1 percent, to 9,909.78 points.

But the market had gained roughly 1 percent so far this week, partly encouraged by Wall street, where the main indexes have repeatedly set records.

Steven Leung, director at UOB Kay Hian in Hong Kong, said Friday’s sentiment was dampened by reports of Macau’s supposed curbs on cash withdrawal.

Shares of casino operators including Sands China Ltd , Wynn Macau and MGM China tumbled after a report that Macau was preparing to halve the amount of cash China UnionPay card holders can withdraw from ATM machines.

The shares clawed back some of their losses after China UnionPay dismissed cash-curb reports.

Hong Kong’s small-caps and tech shares were also a drag, as the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect, launched on Monday, has so far channelled a just a trickle of money from mainland investors.

China stocks

In China, stocks reversed initial losses and ended morning trade in positive territory after news of inflation rising in November. It came on the heels of Thursday’s encouraging trade figures, with both indicators taken as evidence of a stabilising economy.

But the blue-chip index was poised to break an eight-week winning streak, after regulators moved this week to restrict insurers’ aggressive share acquisitions.

The blue-ship CSI300 index rose 0.9 percent, to 3,500.13 points at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.7 percent, to 3,237.58 points.

China’s producer prices rose the fastest in more than five years in November, up 3.3 percent, as the prices of coal, steel and building materials climbed, boosting industrial profits.

China’s consumer inflation rate rose to 2.3 percent from a year earlier, the fastest pace since April this year.

Most sectors in the mainland rose, with banks leading the gains.

Reporting by Jackie Cai and John Ruwitch; Editing by Eric Meijer

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