China blue chips fall; easing hopes lend support
SHANGHAI, Sept 2 (Reuters) - China blue-chip shares fell on Thursday, weighed down by health care, tech and consumer firms but Shanghai's benchmark index rose as investors hoped soft economic data could lead Beijing to roll out further support measures.
** At the midday break, China's blue-chip CSI300 index .CSI300 was down 0.28% and the Shanghai Composite index .SSEC was up 0.55% at 3,586.65 points.
** Chinese H-shares listed in Hong Kong .HSCE rose 0.55% to 9,322.33, while the Hang Seng index .HSI was up 0.08% at 26,047.95.
** China is likely to accelerate fiscal spending and credit growth as its economic recovery slows, but investors are expecting any easing measures from Beijing to be finely targeted as the U.S. Federal Reserve prepares to taper its own stimulus. nL4N2PX15A
** The consumer staples sector .CSI000912 fell 1.24%, the healthcare sub-index .CSI300HC dropped 2.68% and information technology firms .CSIINT slipped 1.56%.
** An entertainment sub-index .CSI930790 slipped 0.15% as China expanded a crackdown on its entertainment industry on Thursday, telling broadcasters to bar artists with "incorrect political positions" and effeminate styles from shows, and said a "patriotic atmosphere" needed to be cultivated. nL1N2Q402D
** China's regulatory crackdown is being waged to build a prosperous market economy and criticism from the United States and the West that it is taking "a backward step" are smears, state-backed newspaper the Global Times said on Tuesday. nL4N2Q407Y
** The smaller Shenzhen index .SZSC was up 0.23%, the start-up board ChiNext Composite index .CNT was weaker by 1.21% and Shanghai's tech-focused STAR50 index .STAR50 was down 1.33%.
** Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index .MIAPJ0000PUS was weaker by 0.12%, while Japan's Nikkei index .N225 was up 0.32%.
** The yuan CNY=CFXS was quoted at 6.4624 per U.S. dollar, 0.03% weaker than the previous close of 6.4605.
(Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)