The Mainland China equity market closed down for third straight day on Thursday, 18 July 2019, on growing signs that a trade dispute between the United States and China was taking a toll on corporate earnings. At closing bell, the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index declined 1.04%, or 30.52 points, to 2,901.18. The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China's second exchange, eased 1.63%, or 25.73 points, to 1,548.64. The blue-chip CSI300 index sank 0.95%, or 36.24 points, to 3,768.40.
With nerves already on edge over when face-to-face talks between the United States and China will resume, US President Donald Trump on Tuesday maintained pressure on Beijing with a threat to put tariffs on another $325 billion of Chinese goods.
Investors also cited a report that progress toward a US-China trade deal has stalled as the Trump administration works out how to address Beijing's demands that it ease restrictions on Huawei Technologies.
Shares of information technology and communication services declined, as the imminent debut of Shanghai's competing Nasdaq-style board, the STAR Market, diverted attention and liquidity. Wuliangye Yibin (000858 CH) fell 2.1% to 121 yuan, Midea Group (000333 CH), which makes household electrical appliances, fell 0.06% to 52.69 yuan, and Gree Electric Appliances (000651 CH) fell 0.24% to 54.40 yuan. Meanwhile Hangzhou Hikvision (002415CH), the Chinese video surveillance maker blacklisted by the US over national security concerns, was down 2.7% to 26.17 yuan.
CURRENCY NEWS: China yuan eased against greenback on Thursday, despite firmer midpoint fixing by central bank as market sentiment remained fragile over signs of renewed trade tensions with the United States. The People's Bank of China (PBOC) set the midpoint rate at 6.8761 per dollar on Thursday, 66 bps or 0.1% firmer than the previous fix of 6.8827. In the spot market, onshore yuan opened at 6.8750 per dollar and was changing hands at 6.8769 around late afternoon, 36 pips weaker than the previous late session close.
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