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China shares flat, yuan policy in focus; Hong Kong follow Asian mkt higher
September 11, 2017 / 5:17 AM / in 2 months

China shares flat, yuan policy in focus; Hong Kong follow Asian mkt higher

* SSEC +0.1 pct, CSI300 flat, HSI +1.0 pct

* Investors weigh PBOC policy toward currency-sensitive sectors

* New energy stocks surge as China mulls sales ban on fuel cars

SHANGHAI, Sept 11 (Reuters) - China stocks ended the Monday morning session steady, with strength in consumer shares offsetting weakness in real estate firms as the market ponders fresh central bank policies apparently aimed at taming rapid gains in the yuan.

The blue-chip CSI300 index was unchanged at 3,825.07 points by the lunch break, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.1 percent, to 3,369.56 points.

Much attention was on central bank moves to rein in yuan’s recent strength. China’s central bank on Monday said it has removed reserve requirements for financial institutions settling foreign exchange forward yuan positions and those for offshore yuan deposits in China at foreign institutions.

Analysts interpreted it as a signal the PBOC doesn’t want to see the yuan appreciate too quickly against the dollar. A strong yuan would benefit sectors such as banking, real estate and airlines, but hurts exporters.

Investors are also assessing sustainability of China’s recovery, after data showed the country’s government spending rose at its slowest monthly pace in 10 months in August.

China has pledged a pro-active fiscal policy to support the economy, and analysts have credited Beijing’s pump-priming as one of the key factors underpinning solid growth this year.

Sector performance was mixed on Monday.

An index tracking major property developers dropped over 1 percent, led by Vanke.

However, China’s new energy-related shares, including BYD and Zhengzhou Yutong Bus surged as the country mulls when to ban sales of traditional fuel cars.

HONG KONG

Hong Kong stocks followed Asian markets higher.

The Hang Seng index added 1.0 percent, to 27,942.25 points, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index gained 0.7 percent, to 11,231.94.

Most sectors rose, led by financials and IT shares .

Reporting by Samuel Shen and John Ruwitch; Editing by Shri Navaratnam

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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