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China stocks steady as investors eye Q3 economic data; HK down
September 28, 2017 / 5:01 AM / in 2 months

China stocks steady as investors eye Q3 economic data; HK down

* SSEC -0.1 pct, CSI300 +0.1 pct, HSI -0.3 pct

* Investors await China Q3 data amid slowdown concerns

* China says crackdown on smog won’t hurt economy

SHANGHAI, Sept 28 (Reuters) - China stocks were steady on Thursday morning as investors awaited third quarter economic data and counted down to a week-long National Day holiday starting on Sunday.

Traders were cautious amid emerging signs of fading economic momentum after a robust first half, though most analysts expect the economy will remain resilient in the short run thanks to a construction boom.

The blue-chip CSI300 index rose 0.1 percent, to 3,823.49 points by the lunch break, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.1 percent, to 3,342.19 points.

Mixed August data have raised concerns that China economic recovery could be losing steam, so changes in trading strategies could be on the cards once investors have assessed third-quarter data over coming weeks.

“If the third-quarter data confirms market fears of a slowdown, investors may sell,” said Yang Hai, strategist at Kaiyuan Securities.

“However, markets could be dull before and during the Party Congress, as the government has vowed to maintain stability during the period,” he said, referring to the once-in-five-year Communist Party Congress that starts in mid-October.

In an apparent effort to assuage market fears of a slowdown, China’s environment ministry said on Wednesday that the country’s crackdown on smog will not affect the production of major commodities or hurt the economy.

Sector performance was mixed.

Energy, property and financial shares weakened but consumer shares continued to rise sharply, on bets that the long holiday will stimulate entertainment activities and shopping.

Those wagers were played out in stocks such as Kweichow Moutai Co Ltd, a maker of Chinese spirits, which rose nearly 2 percent to a record high of 518 yuan apiece.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong stocks fell, in line with weak performance in Asian markets.

The Hang Seng index dropped 0.3 percent, to 27,556.22 points, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index lost 0.8 percent, to 10,942.73.

Financial and raw materials firms dropped, but consumer service shares gained.

Reporting by Samuel Shen and John Ruwitch; Editing by Shri Navaratnam

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