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China stocks mixed, concerns over policy tightening linger; Hong Kong up
May 23, 2017 / 4:47 AM / 6 months ago

China stocks mixed, concerns over policy tightening linger; Hong Kong up

* SSEC 0.1 pct, CSI300 0.5 pct, HSI 0.3 pct

* C.bank will keep policy neutral with a tightening bias

* Hong Kong at fresh 22-month high

SHANGHAI, May 23 (Reuters) - China’s main stock indexes were mixed on Tuesday morning, with gains in financials only partially soothing lingering concerns over policy tightening steps.

The CSI300 index rose 0.4 percent, to 3,423.26 points at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.1 percent, to 3,072.67 points.

The tech-heavy start-up board ChiNext was down 0.9 percent, poised for its fourth session of losses as a sharp correction in newly-listed stocks pressured the valuations of small-caps.

Over the past two months investors have been grappling with a regulatory crackdown on risky lending practices and a shift toward more tighter policy as Beijing stepped up measures to defuse financial risks.

An advisor with the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said the central bank will continue to implement reasonable adjustments to monetary policy.

“If it went tight, it would be loosened a bit. The central bank will not overdo it, and any adjustment doesn’t represent a shift in policy direction,” Sheng Songcheng said.

Bank and consumer stocks led the gains in the morning, while infrastructure shares dragged the most.

“Investors are expected to be cautious for now as the possibly peaking economic growth in the first quarter could weigh on the profitability of listed companies,” said Liu Qihao, an analyst with Shanghai securities.

The pace of IPOs could also dampen risk appetite for small-caps on expectations of more equity supply, Liu added.

Hong Kong stocks inched up to a fresh 22-month high.

The Hang Seng index added 0.3 percent, to 25,461.43 points.

The Hong Kong China Enterprises Index gained 0.6 percent, to 10,438.29.

Hong Kong stocks continued to benefit from Chinese money inflows via two cross-border investment schemes.

Data from brokerage Jefferies Hong Kong Ltd showed Chinese investors spent net HK$12 billion ($1.54 billion) buying Hong Kong stocks last week via the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect, marking the biggest inflow so far this year, and the 22nd week of net buying.

Reporting by Luoyan Liu and John Ruwitch; Editing by Shri Navaratnam

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