May 23, 2018 / 4:16 AM / 3 months ago

China, Hong Kong stocks fall as coal miners slump

* SSEC -0.8 pct, CSI300 -0.8 pct, HSI -1.0 pct

* HK->Shanghai Connect daily quota used 0.7 pct, Shanghai->HK daily quota used 0.3 pct

* FTSE China A50 -1.1 pct, BNY Mellon ADR China Select Index -0.7 pct

SHANGHAI, May 23 (Reuters) - Stocks in China and Hong Kong dropped on Wednesday, led by a slump in coal miners, as Beijing intervened to cool the red-hot coal market. ** The CSI300 index fell 0.8 percent to 3,875.59 at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.8 percent to 3,188.65 points. ** In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index dropped 1.0 percent to 30,909.01, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index lost 1.3 percent to 12,194.86 points. ** Investors were also cautious after U.S. President Donald Trump tempered optimism over progress made so far in trade talks between the world’s two largest economies. ** Trump said on Tuesday he was not pleased with recent trade talks between the United States and China, souring the improved market sentiment following weekend comments from U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that trade war is “on hold”. ** Indexes tracking energy firms in the mainland and Hong Kong both fell around 3 percent, with losses led by coal miners. ** China’s largest coal miner China Shenhua tumbled 5.9 percent in Shanghai and 6.8 percent in Hong Kong, while Yanzhou Coal Mining slumped more than 8 percent both in Shanghai and Hong Kong. ** China’s state planner ordered utilities this week to stop stockpiling thermal coal and told miners to slash prices, two sources familiar with the matter said, the government’s first direct intervention to cool coal prices since mid-2016. ** “The rally in coal prices has prompted the government to issue a flurry of measures to bring down prices,” said Zhang Min, a coal analyst with Sublime Information. ** Bucking the broad trend, China’s auto parts makers surged on the mainland as Beijing said it will steeply cut import tariffs for automobiles and car parts. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.36 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei index was down 1.18 percent. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.374 per U.S. dollar, 0.14 percent weaker than the previous close of 6.3654. ** The largest percentage gainers on the main Shanghai Composite index were Guangdong Dcenti Auto-Parts Stock Ltd Co up 10.02 percent, followed by Tibet Weixinkang Medicine Co Ltd gaining 10.02 percent and Changzhou Langbo Seal Polytron Technologies Co Ltd up by 10 percent. ** The largest percentage losses on the Shanghai index were Inly Media Co Ltd down 10.02 percent, followed by Yanzhou Coal Mining Co Ltd losing 8.1 percent and Shandong Shida Shenghua Chemical Group Co Ltd down by 6.47 percent. ** The top gainers among H-shares were Huaneng Power International Inc up 4.36 percent, followed by Dongfeng Motor Group Co Ltd gaining 3.03 percent and Guangdong Investment Ltd up by 1.95 percent. ** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were China Shenhua Energy Co Ltd which has fallen 7.01 percent, ZhongAn Online P & C Insurance Co Ltd which has lost 4.2 percent and New China Life Insurance Co Ltd down by 4.0 percent. ** As of 04:00 GMT, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 21.44 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. ** In Hong Kong, the sub-index of the Hang Seng index tracking energy shares dipped 3 percent, while the IT sector rose 0.7 percent. The top gainer on Hang Seng was Sunny Optical Technology Group Co Ltd up 2.14 percent, while the biggest loser was China Shenhua Energy Co Ltd which was down 7.01 percent.

Reporting by Luoyan Liu and John Ruwitch; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath

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