March 5, 2018 / 4:23 AM / 3 months ago

HK shares hit near 3-week lows amid trade war fears; China stocks muted

* SSEC -0.2 pct, CSI300 -0.1 pct, HSI -1.1 pct

* HK->Shanghai Connect daily quota used -6 pct

* Shanghai->HK daily quota used 2.5 pct

* FTSE China A50 -0.2 pct, BNY Mellon ADR China Select Index +0.9 pct

SHANGHAI, March 5 (Reuters) - Hong Kong stocks fell across the board to near three-week lows as investors worried a U.S.-led trade war could derail economic momentum around the world, while China kicked off its annual meeting of parliament where few surprises are expected. ** China aims to expand its economy by around 6.5 percent this year, the same as in 2017, while pressing ahead with its campaign to reduce risks in the financial system, Premier Li Keqiang said on Monday at the opening of the annual National People’s Congress (NPC). ** “China’s 2018 major economic targets reflect that policymakers are confident of this year’s growth momentum despite a tightening bias in both monetary and fiscal policy,” ANZ Research wrote in a note. ** China stocks were little changed by midday, as investors saw few surprises from the annual meeting of parliament until now. ** Premier Li’s speech drew little attention from Wu Kan, head of equity trading at Shanshan Finance, who is more concerned about the Sino-U.S. relationship, and the future pace of tightening by the Fed. ** “We’re entering an era of volatility (in the A-share market) following the bull run over the past year,” Wu said, citing uncertainty in the Sino-U.S. trade relationship as an example. ** At 04:03 GMT, the Shanghai Composite index was down 5.31 points, or 0.16 percent, at 3,249.22. ** China’s blue-chip CSI300 index was down 0.12 percent, with its financial sector sub-index lower by 0.04 percent, the consumer staples sector down 1.15 percent, the real estate index up 0.82 percent and healthcare sub-index up 0.22 percent. ** Chinese H-shares listed in Hong Kong fell 0.87 percent at 12,097.88, while the Hang Seng Index was down 1.13 percent at 30,238.71. ** The smaller Shenzhen index was up 0.12 percent and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was higher by 0.3 percent. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.62 percent while Japan’s Nikkei index was down 0.50 percent . ** The yuan was quoted at 6.3327 per U.S. dollar, 0.08 percent firmer than the previous close of 6.3379. ** The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were Henan Ancai Hi-tech Co Ltd up 10.04 percent, followed by Pci-Suntek Technology Co Ltd gaining 9.99 percent and Shanghai DaZhong Public Utilities Group Co Ltd up by 9.95 percent. ** The largest percentage losses in the Shanghai index were 360 Security Technology Inc down 6.91 percent, followed by Shanghai Jin Jiang International Hotels Development Co Ltd losing 6.45 percent and Datang Telecom Technology Co Ltd down by 5.56 percent. ** The top gainers among H-shares were Byd Co Ltd up 2.47 percent, followed by China Resources Land Ltd gaining 1.64 percent and SINOPHARM GROUP CO LTD up by 1.29 percent. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were ZhongAn Online P & C Insurance Co Ltd which has fallen 3.20 percent, Anhui Conch Cement Co Ltd which has lost 2.7 percent and Agricultural Bank of China Ltd down by 2.3 percent. ** About 8.28 billion shares have traded so far on the Shanghai exchange, roughly 40.2 percent of the market’s 30-day moving average of 20.59 billion shares a day. The volume traded was 15.09 billion as of the last full trading day. ** As of 04:03 GMT, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 29.18 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. ** The Shanghai stock index is below its 50-day moving average and below its 200-day moving average. ** In Hong Kong, the sub-index of the Hang Seng index tracking energy shares dipped 0.7 percent while the IT sector fell 0.7 percent. The top gainer on Hang Seng was China Resources Land Ltd up 1.64 percent, while the biggest loser was Hengan International Group Company Ltd which was down 2.28 percent.

Reporting by Samuel Shen, Luoyan Liu and John Ruwitch; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier

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