* China need not hike its benchmark rate near-term - c.bank advisor
SHANGHAI, Jan 17 (Reuters) - China’s blue-chips fell on Wednesday morning as investors pocketed gains in consumer and real estate firms. ** China does not need to raise benchmark interest rates in the near-term as market rates and corporate borrowing costs have gone up amid a deleveraging drive, a central bank advisor said in remarks published on Tuesday. ** At 04:05 GMT, the Shanghai Composite index was up a modest 0.07 points at 3,436.66. ** China’s blue-chip CSI300 index was down 0.48 percent, with its financial sector sub-index higher by 0.54 percent, the consumer staples sector down 2.16 percent, the real estate index down 2.87 percent and healthcare sub-index off 1.06 percent. ** Chinese H-shares listed in Hong Kong fell 0.33 percent to 12,744.74, while the Hang Seng Index was down 0.57 percent at 31,724.05. ** The smaller Shenzhen index was down 0.53 percent and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was higher by 0.93 percent. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.41 percent while Japan’s Nikkei index was down 0.53 percent . ** The yuan was quoted at 6.432 per dollar, 0.08 percent firmer than the previous close of 6.4369. ** The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were Xinjiang Korla Pear Co Ltd up 10.03 percent, followed by Beijing Airport High-Tech Park Co Ltd gaining 9.97 percent and Yunnan Metropolitan Real Estate Development Co Ltd up 9.96 percent. ** The largest percentage losses in the Shanghai index were Shangying Global Co Ltd down 10.01 percent, then Shanghai Shimao Co Ltd off 9.94 percent and China Jushi Co Ltd down percent. ** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is up 3.91 percent, while China’s H-share index is up 9.2 percent. ** The top gainers among H-shares were China Galaxy Securities Co Ltd up 5.21 percent, followed by CITIC Securities Co Ltd gaining 3.99 percent and Haitong Securities Co Ltd up 5.29 percent. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were China Vanke Co Ltd off 4.98 percent, Air China Ltd down 4.5 percent and Guangzhou Automobile Group Co Ltd weaker by 3.5 percent. ** About 18.39 billion shares have traded so far on the Shanghai exchange, roughly 112.2 percent of the market’s 30-day moving average of 16.39 billion shares a day. The volume traded was 21.15 billion as of the last full trading day. ** As of 04:05 GMT, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 29.08 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. ** The Shanghai stock index is above its 50-day and 200-day moving averages. ** The price-to-earnings ratio of the Shanghai index was 15.57 as of the last full trading day while the dividend yield was 1.9 percent. ** So far this week, the market capitalisation of the Shanghai stock index has risen by 0.27 percent to 30.19 trillion yuan. ** In Hong Kong, the sub-index of the Hang Seng index tracking energy shares dipped 1.9 percent while the IT sector fell 0.8 percent. The top gainer on Hang Seng was China Mengniu Dairy Co Ltd up 2.24 percent, while the biggest loser was Country Garden Holdings Co Ltd which was down 6.19 percent.
Reporting by Samuel Shen and John Ruwitch; Editing by Shri Navaratnam