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SHANGHAI: China stocks fell on Thursday, tracking a global slump after Federal Reserve meeting minutes pointed to a faster-than-expected rise in US interest rates, led by losses in real estate developers and consumer staples.

The CSI300 index fell 0.9%, to 4,826.06 points at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.2%, to 3,589.50 points.

The Hang Seng index dropped 0.4%, to 22,824.60 points. The Hong Kong China Enterprises Index lost 0.4%, to 7,984.28.

** A "very tight" job market and unabated inflation might require the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates sooner than expected and begin reducing its overall asset holdings as a second brake on the economy, US central bank policymakers said in their meeting last month.

** The more hawkish than expected views of US central bank officials pushed US Treasury yields higher, potentially draining liquidity from emerging markets.

** Refinitiv data showed outflows of more than 3.2 billion yuan through the Northbound legs of the Stock Connect programme, showing overseas investors were net sellers of A-shares on Thursday.

** Activity in China's services sector expanded at a faster pace in December amid higher demand and easing inflationary pressure but continuing small-scale COVID-19 outbreaks weighed on the outlook, a private sector survey showed.

** China will ensure stable economic growth in the first quarter of 2022, the government will implement greater tax and fee cuts for businesses and would provide targeted support for COVID-affected sectors, Premier Li Keqiang said on Wednesday.

** Real estate developers, consumer staples , transport stocks and media firms went down between 1.7% and 2.2%.

** Construction engineering shares surged 3.7%, while non ferrous metal gained 1.2%.

** In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Tech Index lost 0.6%, while Alibaba Group and Meituan rebounded from previous session's slump and rose 3.6% and 0.5% respectively.

** Healthcare stocks dropped 2.6%, with WuXi Biologics down 4.2% to become the second biggest intraday decliner on the Hang Seng Index.

** The utilities subindex declined 2.7%.

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