May 15, 2020 / 7:58 AM / 11 days ago

China blue chips suffer worst week in eight as growth, trade worries linger

* Shanghai share down 0.1%, worst week in three

* Blue-chips fall 0.3%, biggest fall since March

* Consumption still weak despite uptick in factory output

* Trump doesn’t want call with Xi, threatens cutting ties

HONG KONG, May 15 (Reuters) - Chinese blue-chip stocks slipped on Friday to end their worst week since March as economic growth worries linger on lacklustre consumption and U.S.-China trade frictions. ** At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was down 0.1% at 2,868.46. The index fell 0.9% week on week, its first week in negative territory in May ** The blue-chip CSI300 index fell 0.3% on Friday. It fell 1.3% from the previous week, its biggest weekly drop since mid-March

** The CSI300’s financial sector sub-index fell 0.1%, the consumer staples sector lost 0.9%, the real estate index was flat and the healthcare sub-index dropped 1.1% ** The smaller Shenzhen index edged up 0.2% and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index added 0.3%

** China’s consumption remained weak and retail sales fell 7.5% in April, even as industrial output beat estimates and rose for the first time in 2020

** U.S. President Donald Trump said he has no interest in speaking to Chinese President Xi Jinping right now and suggested he could even cut ties with the world’s second largest economy, as the pandemic had cast a pall over his January trade deal with Beijing ** A-share non-financial companies’ earnings fell 50.7% year on year in the first quarter, the third worst quarter since the global financial crisis, according to Bank of America Securities estimates in a note on Friday

** But the firm’s analysts added that “1Q20 likely marked the bottom of earnings growth ...as demand has started to recover since April, supported by stimulus policies, pent-up demand, among others”

** The Chinese parliament’s annual meeting is set to start on May 22, after a delay due to the coronavirus outbreak

** China’s central bank unexpectedly kept the interest rate on its medium-term funding for financial institutions steady on Friday. Authorities have stepped up the pace of monetary easing recently to combat the economic slowdown ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index gained 0.2% while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 0.6% ** At 0715 GMT, the yuan was 0.08% weaker at 7.0994 per U.S. dollar ** The Shanghai stock index is down 6% year to date and the CSI300 has fallen 4.5%. Shanghai stocks have risen 0.3% this month.

** Dollar-traded B-shares, which plunged on Tuesday, fell 7.2% this week in their worst performance since January 2016 ** About 18.90 billion shares were traded on the Shanghai exchange, down from 19.78 billion in the previous session (Reporting by Noah Sin; editing by Jason Neely)

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