December 17, 2018 / 7:26 AM / a month ago

China blue-chips end down, Shanghai up as investors await govt meeting

* CSI300 -0.2 pct, SSEC +0.2 pct

* Central Economic Work conference expected to yield more policy support

* Yuan firms to 6.8985 per dollar

SHANGHAI, Dec 17 (Reuters) - Chinese blue-chips fell on Monday, but the broader Shanghai benchmark closed higher, with low trading volumes as investors await the closely watched annual Central Economic Work Conference this week for signs of more policy support. ** The blue-chip CSI300 index closed down 0.2 percent, while its financial sector sub-index was higher by 0.12 percent, the consumer staples sector down 0.72 percent, the real estate index up 0.25 percent and the healthcare sub-index down 1.72 percent. ** The Shanghai Composite index ended 0.2 percent higher at 2,597.97. ** Average new home prices in China’s 70 major cities rose 0.9 percent in November from a month earlier, slower than the previous month’s 1 percent and the weakest since September, though the sector remained relatively resilient amid a broader slowdown in economic activity. ** Many investors are awaiting a speech from President Xi Jinping on Tuesday to mark the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening. Top leaders are also due to map out economic and reform plans for 2019 during an annual Central Economic Work Conference this week. ** China will temporarily suspend additional 25 percent tariffs on U.S.-made vehicles and auto parts starting Jan. 1, 2019, the finance ministry said on Friday, following a truce in a trade war between the world’s two largest economies. An index tracking new energy vehicle firms on the mainland ended 1.1 percent lower following the news. ** The smaller Shenzhen index ended down 0.31 percent and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was weaker by 0.861 percent. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.3 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 0.62 percent. ** At 07:08 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 6.8985 per U.S. dollar, 0.17 percent firmer than the previous close of 6.91. ** The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were Guangzhou Pearl River Industrial Development Co Ltd , up 10.05 percent, followed by Fuda Alloy Materials Co Ltd, gaining 10.01 percent and ARTS Group Co Ltd , up by 10 percent. ** The largest percentage losses in the Shanghai index were Jinzhou Jixiang Moly Co Ltd down 10.01 percent, followed by WG Tech JiangXi Co Ltd losing 10 percent and Wingtech Technology Co Ltd down by 8.65 percent. ** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is down 21.4 percent, the CSI300 has fallen 21.6 percent while China’s H-share index listed in Hong Kong is down 11.3 percent. Shanghai stocks have risen 0.38 percent this month. ** About 11.74 billion shares were traded on the Shanghai exchange, roughly 70.1 percent of the market’s 30-day moving average of 16.74 billion shares a day. The volume in the previous trading session was 14.59 billion. ** As of 07:09 GMT, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 18.45 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. (Reporting by Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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