China shares climb as investors weigh potential tariff delay
China stocks edged up amid cautious trade on Wednesday following a report that officials from Washington and Beijing are planning to delay a new round of tariffs set to kick in this weekend, but investors still awaited concrete details from both sides.
** At the midday break, the Shanghai Composite index was up 0.1% at 2,920.85 points, while the blue-chip CSI300 index was pretty much flat. ** Chinese H-shares listed in Hong Kong rose 0.5%, while the Hang Seng Index was up 0.3% at 26,522.89. ** CSI300's financial sector sub-index rose 0.4%, the consumer staples sector fell almost 1%, the real estate index gained 0.6% and the healthcare sub-index was down 0.1%. ** The smaller Shenzhen index ticked down 0.4% and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index fell 0.8%. ** Officials in Beijing and Washington have signaled that Dec. 15 is not the final date for reaching a so-called "phase-one" deal, according to a Wall Street Journal report. ** There is still no clarity on whether U.S. President Donald Trump will slap fresh tariffs on nearly $160 billion of Chinese consumer goods on Dec. 15, one person briefed on the situation said, adding that the White House's top economic and trade advisers are expected to meet in coming days with Trump over that decision. ** The White House has been deliberating for weeks whether or not to impose the tariffs and said in early-November they would likely be averted if a "phase one" deal was reached. ** Chinese banks extended 1.39 trillion yuan ($197.47 billion) in new yuan loans in November, rebounding more than expected in as the central bank lowered some key lending rates and encouraged faster credit growth to prop up the slowing economy. ** Some analysts, however, say credit demand has not picked up as quickly as hoped, possibly due to flagging business confidence and the prolonged trade war, which is reinforcing views that more stimulus is needed soon to spur investment. ** China Post Securities wrote in a note on Wednesday that A-shares' medium-term prospects remain bleak with the economy still lackluster and corporate profit growth slowing. "The market's ability to recover is limited," said the brokerage. ** China's factory-gate prices remained in the red, adding to uncertainty over whether the manufacturing sector is bottoming out as trade risks persist, according to official data on Tuesday. ** As of midday, China's A-shares were trading at a premium of 28.21% over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. ** The Shanghai stock index is below its 50-day moving average and below its 200-day moving average.
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