June 17, 2020 / 4:40 AM / a month ago

China stocks pause as Beijing reimposes travel curbs on higher virus cases

* SSEC -0.1%, CSI300 -0.2%, HSI -0.03%

* Scores of flights in and out of Beijing canceled

* Beijing reported 137 coronavirus cases over six days

BEIJING, June 17 (Reuters) - China shares paused on Wednesday, after gaining in the previous session, as Beijing re-imposed travel curbs following a resurgence in cases of the new coronavirus in the capital city.

** At the midday break, the Shanghai Composite index was down 0.1% at 2,928.89.

** China’s blue-chip CSI300 index was down 0.2%, with its financial sector sub-index lower by 0.48%, the consumer staples sector down 0.18%, the real estate index down 0.66%. The healthcare sub-index was up 2.11%.

** Chinese H-shares listed in Hong Kong fell 0.14% to 9,853.79, while the Hang Seng Index was down 0.03% at 24,337.17.

** The smaller Shenzhen index was down 0.11% and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was weaker by 0.08%.

** Officials cancelled scores of domestic flights in and out of Beijing on Wednesday as they ramped up attempts to contain a coronavirus outbreak in the Chinese capital over the past week that has sparked fears of renewed wider contagion.

** Beijing’s city government reported 31 new cases as of end-June 16, up from 27 cases a day earlier, bringing the cumulative infections since Thursday to 137 cases, the worst resurgence of the disease in the city since early February.

** Signs of rising geopolitical tensions also dimmed sentiment as India’s army said on Tuesday 20 of its soldiers had been killed in clashes with Chinese troops at a disputed border site.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.01%, while Japan’s Nikkei index was down 0.57%.

** The yuan was quoted at 7.0925 per U.S. dollar, 0.1% weaker than the previous close of 7.0855. (Reporting by Zhang Yan in Beijing, and Andrew Galbraith in Shanghai; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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