China, HK stocks gain on trade hopes; STAR board cools down

SHANGHAI, July 24 (Reuters) – China stocks rose on Wednesday, lifted by reports of progress in Sino-U.S. trade negotiations, while excitement towards Shanghai’s new Nasdaq-style tech board cools down a bit.

** The CSI300 index was up 1% at 3,828.80 points at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index also gained 1% to 2,929.17 points.

** Meanwhile, Hong Kong stocks also rose, with the Hang Seng index gaining 0.9% to 28,730.41 points, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index climbed 1.1% to 10,932.72.

** White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow on Tuesday called it a good sign that top U.S. officials would be traveling to China to discuss reviving stalled trade talks, and said he expected Beijing to start buying U.S. agriculture products soon.

** Investors are also awaiting policy decisions from the U.S. Federal Reserve, which is widely expected to cut interest rates later this month. China’s central bank governor Yi Gang said the country’s current interest rate level is appropriate, the financial magazine Caixin reported on Tuesday.

** Trading on Shanghai’s tech board – the STAR Market – has cooled down since Monday’s debut fever, with turnover shrinking and prices fluctuations narrowing.

** Trading had hit a fever pitch on Monday, with shares rocketing as much as 520%, as China’s new Nasdaq-style board for homegrown tech firms made its debut.

** Most of 25 STAR Market stocks gained less than 10% on Wednesday. However, the biggest gainer was optical lens maker Fujian Forecam Optics Co, which jumped 25% by lunch break. ** China’s CSI300 financial sector sub-index traded 1.1% higher, while the consumer staples sector rose 0.11%, the real estate index climbed 0.14% and the healthcare sub-index gained 0.98%. ** Chinese H-shares listed in Hong Kong rose 1.14% at 10,932.72, while the Hang Seng Index was up 0.93% at 28,730.41. ** The smaller Shenzhen index climbed 1.39% and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index traded 1.55% higher. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.28%, while Japan’s Nikkei index rose 0.42%. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.8821 per U.S. dollar, 0.04% weaker than the previous close of 6.8794. ** The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were Beijing Teamsun Technology Co Ltd, up 10.03%, followed by Ningbo Yongxin Optics Co Ltd, gaining 10.01% and Bomin Electronics Co Ltd, up by 9.99%. ** The largest percentage losses in the Shanghai index were Beijing Xinwei Technology Group Co Ltd, down 4.96%, followed by Jiangsu Chengxing Phosph-Chemical Co Ltd , losing 3.64% and Aerospace Communications Holdings Co Ltd, down by 3.24%.



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