December 17, 2018 / 4:48 AM / a month ago

China blue-chips lower on cooling economy; Hong Kong flat

* SSEC, HSI flat; CSI300 -0.3 pct

* Xi Jinping to mark 40th anniversary of reform and opening Tue

* Central Economic Work Conference awaited for economic plans

* Yuan trades firmer at 6.898 per dollar

SHANGHAI, Dec 17 (Reuters) - Chinese blue-chip shares fell on Monday after data on new home prices showed slowing growth in November, the latest indication of a cooling domestic economy, but investors are awaiting a key government meeting for signs of more policy support.

** At the midday break, China’s blue-chip CSI300 index was down 0.28 percent, with its financial sector sub-index flat, the consumer staples sector down 1.04 percent, the real estate index down 0.12 percent and the healthcare sub-index down 1.9 percent. ** The Shanghai Composite index was flat at 2,593.98 points, having wavered between losses and small gains in the morning session. ** Average new home prices in China’s 70 major cities rose 0.9 percent in November from a month earlier, slower than the previous month’s 1 percent and the weakest since September, though the sector remained relatively resilient amid a broader slowdown in economic activity. ** Many investors are awaiting a speech from President Xi Jinping on Tuesday to mark the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening. Top leaders are also due to map out economic and reform plans for 2019 during an annual Central Economic Work Conference this month. ** China will temporarily suspend additional 25 percent tariffs on U.S.-made vehicles and auto parts starting Jan. 1, 2019, the finance ministry said on Friday, following a truce in a trade war between the world’s two largest economies. An index tracking new energy vehicle firms on the mainland is 0.76 percent lower following the news. ** In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index was up 0.03 percent at 26,102.39, while Chinese H-shares listed in Hong Kong rose 0.26 percent to 10,386.66. ** The smaller Shenzhen index was down 0.45 percent and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was weaker by 0.9 percent. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.29 percent while Japan’s Nikkei index was up 0.73 percent. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.898 per U.S. dollar, 0.17 percent firmer than the previous close of 6.91. ** The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were Fuda Alloy Materials Co Ltd, up 10.01 percent, followed by ARTS Group Co Ltd, gaining 10 percent and Kunwu Jiuding Investment Holdings Co Ltd , up by 9.99 percent. ** The largest percentage losses in the Shanghai index were WG Tech JiangXi Co Ltd, down 10 percent, followed by Wingtech Technology Co Ltd, losing 9.53 percent and Yifeng Pharmacy Chain Co Ltd, down by 8.51 percent. ** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is down 21.57 percent, while China’s H-share index is down 11.5 percent. Shanghai stocks have risen 0.21 percent this month. ** The top gainers among H-shares were China Tower Corp Ltd , up 3.68 percent, followed by China Communications Construction Co Ltd, gaining 1.58 percent and Guangdong Investment Ltd, up by 1.47 percent. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were Byd Co Ltd, which has fallen 3.32 percent, Shenzhou International Group Holdings Ltd, which has lost 2.0 percent and Air China Ltd, down by 1.6 percent. ** About 7.23 billion shares have traded so far on the Shanghai exchange, roughly 43.2 percent of the market’s 30-day moving average of 16.74 billion shares a day. The volume traded was 14.59 billion as of the last full trading day. ** In Hong Kong, the sub-index of the Hang Seng index tracking energy shares dipped 0.1 percent while the IT sector fell 0.4 percent. The top gainer on the Hang Seng was Want Want China Holdings Ltd, up 1.62 percent, while the biggest loser was Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd, which was down 2.62 percent.

Reporting by Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Sunil Nair

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