* SSEC -0.4%, CSI300 -0.5%, HSI +0.5%, HSCE +0.6%
* Trump said to consider delisting Chinese companies in U.S.
* NASDAQ scrutinises planned IPOs from China - sources
* Mainland markets shut Oct.1-7, HK off Oct. 1 for National Day
HONG KONG, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Stocks in mainland China fell to their lowest in almost a month on news that the U.S. administration is considering delisting Chinese companies from U.S. stock exchanges, increasing fears of a further escalation in the trade war. ** At the midday break, the Shanghai Composite index was down 0.4% at 2,920.46, its lowest level since Sept. 3, while the blue-chip CSI300 index was down 0.5%. ** CSI300’s financial sector sub-index was lower by 0.5%, the consumer staples sector fell 0.7%, the real estate index rose 0.3% and the healthcare sub-index declined 0.1%. ** Chinese H-shares listed in Hong Kong rose 0.6%, while the Hang Seng Index was up 0.5% at 26,088.88. ** The smaller Shenzhen index slid 0.6% and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was weaker by 0.8%. ** The move to possibly delist Chinese shares would be part of a broader effort to limit U.S. investment in Chinese companies, two sources said. Meanwhile, one source said it was motivated by the Trump administration’s growing security concerns about the companies’ activities. ** “The U.S. government directly intervening in pension funds, investment in China would impact the trend of overseas capital (increasingly) allocating renminbi assets, but that would also damage the long term interest of the U.S. investor and capital markets,” Citic Securities’ analysts wrote in a note on Monday. ** Nasdaq Inc is cracking down on initial public offerings of small Chinese companies by tightening restrictions and slowing down their approval, according to regulatory filings, corporate executives and investment bankers. ** China’s factory activity unexpectedly expanded at the fastest pace in 19 months in September as plants ramped up production and new orders rose, a private business survey showed on Monday, suggesting a modest recovery in the manufacturing sector. ** Mainland China’s financial markets will be closed between Oct. 1 and Oct. 7 for the National Day holiday, while Hong Kong’s markets will be shut on Oct. 1. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.1%, while Japan’s Nikkei index was down 0.7%. ** The largest percentage losers on the Shanghai index were COSCO Shipping Energy Transportation Co Ltd, WPG (Shanghai) Smart Water Public Co Ltd and Nanhua Futures Co Ltd, all down by 10%. ** The Shanghai stock index is above its 50-day moving average and its 200-day moving average.
Reporting by Noah Sin; editing by Uttaresh.V