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SHANGHAI: China stocks fell on Friday as real estate sector woes continued to weigh on investor sentiment, while recent COVID-19 outbreaks in the country added to worries about the effect on the economy.

** The CSI300 index fell 0.6%, to 4,737.93 points at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite index lost 0.6%, to 3,534.17 points.

** The Hang Seng index dropped 1.0%, to 24,179.16 points, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises index lost 1.5%, to 8,475.36.

** For the week, the CSI300 index was down 1.8%; the Hang Seng index is set to jump the most in 12 weeks, rising 2.9% as of the midday break.

China stocks fall after weak Dec lending data; property, consumption drop

** China's exports and imports grew more slowly in December, but exports came in just above expectations due to ongoing solid global demand.

** As the country battles with its latest local COVID-19 outbreaks, the eastern financial hub of Shanghai suspended some tourism activities. The tourism subindex declined 1.8%.

** "Recent COVID flare-ups in a few large cities are increasing the pressure on an already slowing economy," HSBC said in a note.

** "We now expect the central bank to add more stimulus by delivering a 10bp cut in key policy rates, most likely in the medium-term lending facilities (MLF) rate, which is most relevant to the real economy," HSBC added.

** Real estate developers dropped for the fourth straight session, as more cash-strapped developers scrambled to avert defaults or raise money.

** Investment banks and brokerages retreated 1.6%, with CITIC Securities down 2.7% following a share placement plan.

** Energy stocks lost 2.4%, with coal miners down 3%.

** In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Tech index fell 1.8%, with Alibaba Group and Meituan down 3.8% and 4.2%, respectively, tracking Wall Street losses after hawkish US Federal Reserve remarks.

** China Evergrande Group added 1.2% as it secured a crucial approval from onshore bondholders to delay payments on one of its bonds.

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