China shares fall as Omicron variant, debt risks weigh

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SHANGHAI, Dec 14 (Reuters) - China's main Shanghai stock market (.SSEC) fell on Tuesday, pressured by losses in materials, financial and consumer discrectionary firms, while concerns about the Omicron variant and developers' debt risks weighed on Hong Kong's Hang Seng.

** At the midday break, the Shanghai Composite index (.SSEC) was down 0.31% at 3,669.84 points.

** China's blue-chip CSI300 index (.CSI300) was down 0.38%, with the resources sector (.CSI000944) lost 2.07%, the financial sector sub-index (.CSI300FS) slipped 0.84% while consumer discretionary firms (.CSI000911) were down 1.56%

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** The broader market came under pressure as several companies in one of China's biggest manufacturing hubs suspended operations amid attempts to contain a COVID-19 outbreak. read more

** The real-estate index (.CSI000952) fell 1.91%, a day after concerns around debt risks saw bonds issued by Shanghai Shimao Co Ltd (600823.SS) suspended from trade on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

** China securities regulator said on Monday it would properly resolve bond default risks and crack down on "fake financial exchanges" after holding a meeting to discuss instructions from last week's Central Economic Work Conference.

** Shimao's shares fell 2.73% on Tuesday while Shimao Group Holdings' shares in Hong Kong (0813.HK) plunged 11.86%. Losses among mainland developers in Hong Kong knocked 5.57% off a sub-index tracking the sector. (.HSMPI)

** The three biggest H-shares percentage decliners were Evergrande Property Services Group Ltd (6666.HK), down 10.81%, Country Garden Services Holdings Co Ltd (6098.HK) down 8.65% and Sunac China Holdings Ltd (1918.HK), which fell 8.46%.

** More broadly, Chinese H-shares listed in Hong Kong (.HSCE) fell 1.4% to 8,431.06, while the Hang Seng Index (.HSI) was down 1.26% at 23,653.16.

** The smaller Shenzhen index (.SZSC) was up 0.06%, the start-up board ChiNext Composite index (.CNT) was higher by 0.1% and Shanghai's tech-focused STAR50 index (.STAR50) was up 0.1%​.

** Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index (.MIAPJ0000PUS) was weaker by 0.74% while Japan's Nikkei index (.N225) was down 0.85%.

** The yuan was quoted at 6.3655 per U.S. dollar, 0.04% firmer than the previous close of 6.368.

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Reporting by Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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