December 19, 2019 / 4:30 AM / a month ago

China stocks drop on profit-taking; markets await trade clarity

* SSEC -0.2%, CSI300 -0.3%, HSI -0.7%

* China Railway Construction’s Shanghai shares rally on unit listing plan

* Yuan firms slightly to 7.004 per dollar

SHANGHAI, Dec 19 (Reuters) - China shares fell on Thursday as investors locked in profits after a recent rally and awaited further details on the “phase-one” trade deal between Washington and Beijing. ** At the midday break, the Shanghai Composite index was down 0.2% at 3,010.86 points. The index gained 4.84% so far this month, having rallied after the United States and China signed an interim trade deal to ease their tariff dispute. ** China’s blue-chip CSI300 index was down 0.32%, with its financial sector sub-index lower by 0.24%, the consumer staples sector dropped 0.94%, the real estate index up 0.47% and the healthcare sub-index down 0.22%. ** Shanghai-listed shares of China Railway Construction Corp Ltd were 2.72% higher after the company’s board approved the listing of a unit on Shanghai’s STAR Market. The company’s Hong Kong-listed shares added 0.12%. ** Chinese H-shares listed in Hong Kong fell 0.78% to 10,938.32, while the Hang Seng Index was down 0.65% at 27,702.70. ** The smaller Shenzhen index was down 0.12% and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was weaker by 0.5%. ** Chinese importers bought at least two cargoes of U.S. soybeans after receiving another round of tariff-free quota for U.S. shipments on Tuesday, traders in both countries said. The sales are the first since the announcement of the interim trade deal. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.41%, while Japan’s Nikkei index was down 0.29%. ** The yuan was quoted at 7.004 per U.S. dollar, 0.02% firmer than the previous close of 7.0055. ** The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were EmbedWay Technologies Shanghai Corp, up 10.02%, followed by Shenzhen Hopewind Electric Co Ltd , gaining 10.01% and Sichuan Minjiang Hydropower Co Ltd, up by 10.01%. ** The largest percentage losses in the Shanghai index were North China Pharmaceutical Co Ltd, down 8.93%, followed by Suzhou Secote Precision Electronic Co Ltd , losing 6.08% and Jiangsu Phoenix Property Investment Co Ltd, down by 6%. ** The top gainers among H-shares were Sinopharm Group Co Ltd , up 1.1%, followed by CSPC Pharmaceutical Group Ltd , gaining 0.66% and Shenzhou International Group Holdings Ltd, up by 0.66%. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were China Gas Holdings Ltd, which fell 5.75%, China Resources Land Ltd, down 2.8% and China Taiping Insurance Holdings Co Ltd, which was down 2.15%. ** In Hong Kong, the sub-index of the Hang Seng index tracking energy shares dropped 0.9%, while the IT sector fell 1.1%. The top gainer in the Hang Seng was Wharf Real Estate Investment Company Ltd, up 1.02%, while the biggest loser was AAC Technologies Holdings Inc, which was down 3.7%. (Reporting by Andrew Galbraith, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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