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China stocks fall; losses capped on policy hopes, fewer virus cases

Reuters | Updated: 23-03-2020 10:22 IST | Created: 23-03-2020 10:22 IST
China stocks fall; losses capped on policy hopes, fewer virus cases

China stocks fell on Monday amid a wider selloff on coronavirus worries, though losses were limited as Beijing signalled further support for its markets and as new cases dropped in the country.

** The CSI300 index fell 1.9%, to 3,584.23 points at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 1.6%, to 2,701.73 points. ** Both indexes lost more than 3% in early morning trade, tracking a slump in other Asian markets as a rising tide of national lockdowns threatened to overwhelm policymakers' frantic efforts to cushion what is likely to be a deep global recession.

** A Chinese central bank official said on Sunday Beijing's recent policy measures were gaining traction while it had capacity for further action. ** The PBOC has already rolled out a raft of measures, including cutting lending rates and banks' reserve ratios, and doling out cheap loans for selected firms, to cushion the blow to the economy from the coronavirus outbreak.

** Zhou Liang, vice chairman of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, said China is ready to buffer financial risks caused by the virus outbreak, and is studying plans to reform the country's asset management companies that are tasked to deal with bad loans. ** A decrease in new virus cases added to optimism the outbreak has been brought under control in the country.

** Mainland China saw a drop in its daily tally of new coronavirus cases, reversing four straight days of gains, as the capital Beijing ramped up measures to contain the number of infections arriving from abroad. ** Also providing some relief, the Trump administration on Friday said it was soliciting public comments on lifting additional tariffs on Chinese imports that could help the United States battle the coronavirus pandemic.

** In Hong Kong, losses were wider given more openness in the financial hub. ** The Hang Seng index dropped 3.8%, to 21,949.30 points, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index lost 3.2%, to 8,830.69.

** Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 4.45% while Japan's Nikkei index was up 2.08%. ** The yuan was quoted at 7.0975 per U.S. dollar, 0.01% weaker than the previous close of 7.097.

** As of 04:26 GMT, China's A-shares were trading at a premium of 32.55% over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares.


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