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China shares subdued as markets await Fed outcome

China shares subdued as markets await Fed outcome

· 03/17/2021 01:12
China shares subdued as markets await Fed outcome

- China stocks were subdued on Wednesday, as investors await the U.S. Federal Reserve policy meet outcome for cues on whether the central bank could start raising interest rates in 2023, earlier than it had previously said.

** Fed policymakers are expected this week to forecast that the U.S. economy will grow in 2021 at the fastest rate in decades, with unemployment falling and inflation rising, as the COVID-19 vaccination campaign gathers pace and a $1.9 trillion relief package washes through to households. nL1N2L82OT

** At the midday break, the Shanghai Composite index .SSEC edged down 0.31% to 3,435.96 points, while China's blue-chip CSI300 index .CSI300 traded flat at 5,083.57.

** By midday, the financial sector sub-index .CSI300FS was lower by 1.34%, the consumer staples sector .CSI000912 gained 1.27%, the real estate index .CSI000952 fell 1.03% and the healthcare sub-index .CSI300HC lost 0.19%.

** The smaller Shenzhen index .SZSC was up 0.59%, the start-up board ChiNext Composite index .CNT was higher by 0.91% and Shanghai's tech-focused STAR50 index .STAR50 climbed 1%​.

** Gains in the index were lifted by agricultural shares after the government unveiled measures to support the development of Taiwan-funded companies in agriculture and forestry in mainland China.

** Meanwhile, the sector also gained support after the central Henan province said it would strictly prevent illegal genetically modified seeds from entering the market this year.

** As of midday, Winall Hi-tech Seed Co Ltd 300087.SZ jumped 6.5%, Hefei Fengle Seed Co Ltd 000713.SZ rose 4.5%, and Zhongnongfa Seed Industry Co Ltd 600313.SS gained 4.7%.

** Chinese H-shares listed in Hong Kong .HSCE rose 0.15% to 11,346.34, while the Hang Seng Index .HSI was down 0.09% at 29,000.18.

** Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index .MIAPJ0000PUS was weaker by 0.41% while Japan's Nikkei index .N225 was down 0.20%.

** Some investors said they would closely watch the first high-level in-person contact between Beijing and Washington since U.S. President Joe Biden took office. Sino-U.S. relations have been one of the key factors influencing Chinese financial markets over the past few years.

** Chinese diplomats will meet U.S. officials in Alaska on March 18 and 19, and the tone of any comments coming out of that meeting could help market participants judge the likely path that Sino-U.S. relations could take under the new U.S. administration.

(Reporting by Winni Zhou and Andrew Galbraith, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

((winni.zhou@thomsonreuters.com; +86 21 2083 0100; Reuters Messaging: winni.zhou.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))