China stocks down on weaker-than-expected data, HK shares up


SHANGHAI: Mainland China stocks fell on Monday, hurt by a flurry of weaker-than-expected data that showed the property sector remains a key drag on the economy, while Hong Kong shares edged up.

Meanwhile, China's central bank left a key policy rate unchanged, as expected, when rolling over maturing medium-term loans, and drained some funds from the banking system.

China's May industrial output lagged expectations and a crisis in the property sector showed no signs of easing, adding pressure on Beijing to shore up growth, though retail sales beat forecasts thanks to a holiday boost.

China's new home prices fell at the fastest pace in more than 9-1/2 years in May, official data showed on Monday, with the property sector struggling to find a bottom despite government efforts to rein in oversupply and support debt-laden developers.

Data on Friday showed new bank lending in China rebounded far less than expected in May and some key money gauges hit record lows, suggesting the world's second-largest economy is still struggling for footing.

At the midday break, the Shanghai Composite index was down 0.51% at 3,017.12 points.

China's blue-chip CSI300 index was down 0.2%, with the real estate sector leading the losses. A sub-index tracking the industry was down 2.69% by the midday break.

Chinese H-shares listed in Hong Kong rose 0.25% to 6,390.47 points, while the Hang Seng Index was up 0.2% at 17,978.30 points.

The smaller Shenzhen index was up 0.12%, the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was higher by 0.8% and Shanghai's tech-focused STAR50 index was up 0.47%.

Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.08% while Japan's Nikkei index was down 2.12%.

The yuan was quoted at 7.2556 per U.S. dollar, 0% firmer than the previous close of 7.2557. - Reuters

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