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China and Hong Kong stocks firm on trade, stimulus hopes

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SHANGHAI — China and Hong Kong stocks firmed on Monday, on hopes China and the United States could sign a trade deal and that Beijing would continue its policy support for the economy.

** The CSI300 index rose 0.3%, to 3,881.23 points at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite index was unchanged at 2,937.88.

** The Hang Seng index added 0.3%, to 26,806.18, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises index gained 0.3%, to 10,570.06.

** U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday said he thinks a trade deal between the United States and China will be signed by the time the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings take place in Chile on Nov. 16 and 17.

** Chinese Vice Premier Liu He said on Saturday that China will work with the United States to address each other’s core concerns on the basis of equality and mutual respect, and that stopping the trade war would be good for both sides and the world.

** Data on Friday showed China’s GDP growth slowed to a near 30-year low, reinforcing hopes Beijing will roll out fresh support.

** China on Monday unexpectedly kept unchanged its new benchmark lending rate, though analysts argued the decision does not point to an end to the downward adjustment in the loan prime rate (LPR).

** “Looking ahead, we still see each monthly LPR re-set as providing an opportunity for a baby-step reduction,” said Frances Cheung, head of Asia macro strategy at Westpac in Singapore.

** Overall China’s economy in the first three quarters remained relatively stable, showing strong resilience, and there would be a positive impact from the Sino-U.S. trade talks if they move toward solving the problem, Guosen Securities noted in report.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.27% while Japan’s Nikkei index was up 0.36%.

** The yuan was quoted at 7.0687 per U.S. dollar, 0.17% firmer than the previous close of 7.081.

** So far this year, the Shanghai stock index is up 17.81%, while China’s H-share index is up 4.1%. Shanghai stocks have risen 1.13% this month.

** As of 04:17 GMT, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 28.88% over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. (Reporting by Luoyan Liu and Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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