China stocks fall as consumer, health care firms drag; Hong Kong also down

* SSEC -0.3 pct, CSI300 -0.5 pct, HSI -0.3 pct

* China c.bank skips open market operations for 10th day

* Resource companies expected to record robust mid-year
results

SHANGHAI, July 6 (Reuters) – China’s main indexes weakened
on Thursday morning, as consumer and health care firms fell,
offsetting strong gains in resource stocks on expectations of
robust mid-year results.

The CSI300 index eased 0.5 percent, to 3,640.32
points at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai
Composite Index lost 0.3 percent, to 3,197.12 points.

China’s central bank skipped open market operations for the
10th day in a row on Thursday, citing “relatively high”
liquidity levels in the banking system.

“The draining recently indicates that the central bank will
not send any signals of loosening, in order to maintain
relatively balanced liquidity conditions,” Li Lifeng, an analyst
with Sinolink Securities, wrote in a note.

The defensive consumer and health care sectors
slid in the morning, losing 1.3 percent and 1.9
percent, respectively, after enjoying a robust rally this year.

While some doubt the strong trend in blue chips will
continue, many analysts see little chance for a major downturn
in stocks with solid fundamentals.

Resource stocks outperformed the broader market, underpinned
by expectations of greatly improved profitability amid an
industry recovery and a weaker dollar, with many starting to
issue upbeat forecasts for mid-year performance.

An index tracking major material shares hit a
3-month high, and is set for the fifth straight week of gains.

Nonferrous industry bellwether China Molybdenum
leapt 6.2 percent to a 19-month high, after advancing 7 percent
the previous session.

The stock had surged 48 percent in 2017.

In Hong Kong, stocks followed other Asian markets lower,
after minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last meeting showed a
lack of consensus on the future pace of U.S. interest rate
increases.

The Hang Seng index dropped 0.3 percent, to 25,440.35
points.

The Hong Kong China Enterprises Index lost 0.7
percent, to 10,307.20.

Shares in Tencent steadied after volatile trade in
previous sessions. The gaming and social media firm said it
would limit play time for some young users of its top-grossing
mobile game, responding to criticism that children were getting
addicted.

(Reporting by Luoyan Liu and Andrew Galbraith; Editing by
Jacqueline Wong)


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