SHANGHAI: China stocks fell on Wednesday as consumer staples, chipmakers slumped amid cautious trading in the last week of the year, while the lockdown in Xian city to curb the spread of COVID-19 continued for the seventh day, weighing on sentiment.
** The CSI300 index fell 1.3%, to 4,891.73 points at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite index lost 0.8%, to 3,601.54 points.
** The Hang Seng index dropped 0.9%, to 23,075.79 points. The Hong Kong China Enterprises index lost 1.1%, to 8,104.65.
** Consumer staples slumped 3.1%, with liquor makers down 4.5%.
** Analysts expect liquor sales will enter peak season with the upcoming new year and spring festival holidays, benefiting related stocks.
** Semiconductors and electronics lost 1.8% and 1.7% respectively.
** A lockdown of 13 million people in the Chinese city of Xian entered its seventh day on Wednesday as new COVID-19 infections persisted.
** Central China Securities analysts said market participants are holding money and waiting as the year comes to an end.
** Bucking the trend, tourism and transport stocks gained 0.8% and 1.6% respectively, with new year holidays approaching. Meanwhile, defence shares added 1.4%.
** China's central bank will by the end of the month issue a first batch of low-cost loans to financial institutions to enable carbon emission cuts, central bank governor Yi Gang told state-owned Xinhua.
** Tech giants and healthcare firms weighed down Hong Kong shares.
** Hang Seng Tech index retreated 1.5%, with Alibaba Group, Tencent Holdings and Meituan down between 1.5% and 2.6%.
** Healthcare stocks dropped 2.4%, while consumer staples declined 1.7%.
** Hotpot chain Haidilao International Holdings plunged 6.5%, the biggest percentage decliner on the Hang Seng index.
** Mainland real estate developers listed in Hong Kong fell 2.1%.