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SHANGHAI: China blue-chip index edged lower on Tuesday on worries about COVID-19 flare-ups and slowing economic growth although property stocks jumped on news of policy support.

Meituan plunged 9% after sources told Reuters that Tencent Holdings Ltd plans to sell all or the bulk of its $24 billion stake in the food delivery giant. The news dragged down Hong Kong’s main stock benchmark.

The blue-chip CSI300 index fell 0.2%, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.1%. The Hang Seng index fell 1.1%, while the China Enterprises Index lost 1.3%. China’s central bank cut key lending rates in a surprise move on Monday as data showed Chinese economic activity and credit expansion slowed sharply in July. Analysts now expect banks to cut the Loan Prime Rate next week.

Other Asian equity markets struggled for direction, hampered by worries over global growth following weak China data. Most industry sectors slipped, with healthcare and non-ferrous metal down more than 1%.

Real estate developers listed in the mainland rose 1.6%, while mainland developers traded in Hong Kong jumped nearly 6%.

Chinese regulators have instructed state-owned China Bond Insurance Co Ltd to provide guarantees for onshore bond issuance by a few private property developers including Longfor Group and CIFI Holdings, sources said.

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