SHANGHAI, Sept 24 (Reuters) - Chinese blue-chip shares rose on Friday, led by consumer staples firms, while property indexes in mainland markets and Hong Kong slipped amid persistent investor concerns over a possible default by developer China Evergrande Group.
** At the midday break, China’s blue-chip CSI300 index was up 0.53%, with its consumer staples sector up 3.85% and the healthcare sub-index up 1.02%. ** At the midday break, the Shanghai Composite index was down 0.07% at 3,639.75 points, with materials firms the biggest sector drag. ** China’s cabinet pledged this week to roll out policies to boost consumption and use more market-based measures to stabilise commodity prices, while the state planner on Friday called on state companies to provide sufficient power supply to fertiliser producers amid soaring prices. ** Chinese H-shares listed in Hong Kong fell 0.16% to 8,719.55, while the Hang Seng Index was down 0.03% at 24,504.11. ** The Hang Seng properties index fell 1.34% as an interest payment deadline for developer China Evergrande Group expired without any announcement from the company, sending it closer to a potential default. ** China Evergrande shares finished the morning session down 7.12%, making them the biggest percentage decliner among H-shares. ** The smaller Shenzhen index rose 0.16%, the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was higher by 1.5% and Shanghai’s tech-focused STAR50 index was up 1.37%. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.02% while Japan’s Nikkei index was up 2.01%. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.4614 per U.S. dollar, 0.02% weaker than the previous close of 6.46. ** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is up 4.8% and the CSI300 has fallen 6.4%, while China’s H-share index listed in Hong Kong is down 18.8%. Shanghai stocks have risen 2.7% this month. (Reporting by Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)
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