China stocks tick up on tariff delay hopes

China stocks tick up on tariff delay hopes

* Shanghai shares add 0.2%, blue-chips up 0.1%

* Media report suggests possible U.S. tariff delay

* China Nov. new loan growth beats expectations

* But factory gate prices disappoint

HONG KONG, Dec 11 (Reuters) – Shares in China inched higher on Wednesday on hopes that fresh U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods may be delayed, but gains were limited amid the lack of formal confirmation from Beijing and Washington.

** The Shanghai Composite index closed up 0.2% at 2,924.42, after hitting its highest level since Nov. 20 earlier in the session. The blue-chip CSI300 index climbed 0.1%. ** CSI300’s financial sector sub-index gained 0.8%, the consumer staples sector fell 0.9%, the real estate index was up 0.8% and the healthcare sub-index was down 0.1%. ** The smaller Shenzhen index fell 0.5% and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was weaker by 0.9%. ** Officials in Beijing and Washington have signalled that Dec. 15 is not the final date for reaching a so-called “phase-one” deal, according to a Wall Street Journal report. ** 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. ** 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. ** 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. ** Chinese banks extended 1.39 trillion yuan ($197.47 billion) in new yuan loans in November, rebounding more than expected.

** 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 lacklustre and corporate profit growth slowing. “The market’s ability to recover is limited,” said the brokerage. ** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is up 17.3%. Shanghai stocks have risen 1.8% this month. ** About 16.55 billion shares were traded on the Shanghai exchange on Wednesday. The volume traded on Tuesday was 17.01 billion. ** The Shanghai stock index is below its 50-day moving average and below its 200-day moving average.

(Reporting by Noah Sin; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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