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China shares fall as key lending rate left unchanged

* SSEC -0.41%, CSI300 -0.52%, HSI -0.95%

* China leaves one-year, five year LPR unchanged

* China President Xi says economy remains resilient

SHANGHAI, Sept 21 (Reuters) - China stocks fell on Monday, dragged lower by consumer staples and financials, after China left its benchmark lending rate unchanged, with profit taking after expectations of more stimulus measures had lifted sentiment in the previous session. ** At the midday break, the Shanghai Composite index was down 0.41% at 3,324.25 points. China’s blue-chip CSI300 index fell 0.52%. ** The financial sector sub-index fell 0.52% after soaring 3.87% on Friday, while consumer staples eased 1.38% after gaining 1.69% on Friday. ** China kept its benchmark lending rate for corporate and household loans, the loan prime rate (LPR), steady for a fifth straight month, as expected. ** The decision came after the People’s Bank of China kept medium-term borrowing costs unchanged, and after President Xi Jinping said China’s economy remains resilient. ** Analysts at ING said they did not expect China to change its monetary stance unless the country faced a resurgence of COVID-19 cases, an escalation in the Sino-U.S. technology war or increasing damage from the trade war. ** A U.S. judge blocked the Trump administration from requiring Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google to remove Tencent Holding’s messaging app WeChat for downloads by late Sunday. ** Tencent shares were 1.24% lower at midday in Hong Kong. ** Chinese H-shares listed in Hong Kong fell 0.64% to 9,740.4, while the Hang Seng Index lost 0.95% to 24,223.09. ** Hong Kong shares of HSBC fell 2.91% and Standard Chartered shares lost 2.69% after media reports that they and other banks moved large amounts of allegedly illicit funds over nearly 20 years despite red flags about the money’s origin. ** The smaller Shenzhen index fell 0.09%, the start-up board ChiNext Composite index 0.46% weaker and Shanghai’s tech-focused STAR50 index fell 0.4%. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.7584 per U.S. dollar, 0.17% firmer than the previous close of 6.77. (Reporting by Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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