Chinese shares fall as weakness in tech, healthcare stocks weigh – Reuters

SHANGHAI, Jan 21 (Reuters) – Chinese shares fell on Friday, dragged by technology and healthcare firms as investors' concerns over a slowing economy continued to weigh on sentiment, despite signals of more policy easing to shore up growth.
** At the midday break, the Shanghai Composite index (.SSEC) was down 0.84% at 3,525.38 points.
** China's blue-chip CSI300 index (.CSI300) was down 0.88%, with its financial sector sub-index (.CSI300FS) lower by 0.56%; the real estate index (.CSI000952) was down 1.76% and the healthcare sub-index (.CSI300HC) slid 2.75%.
** High-tech sectors continued to give back gains from earlier in the week that had been spurred by an essay by President Xi Jinping aimed at enhancing governance in the "digital economy" and boosting its contribution to growth. read more
** The all-share semiconductor sub-index (.CSIH30184) fell 1.71%
** Liquor firms were standout performers on the day, with a sub-index tracking the sector (.CSI399997) up 1.55%.
** Refinitiv data showed inflows through the Northbound Stock Connect at nearly 3.2 billion yuan ($504.55 million) at midday. (.NQUOTA.SH), (.NQUOTA.ZK)
** In the latest indication of easing moves to combat a slowing economy, sources told Reuters that China's central bank will cut interest rates on its standing lending facility loans for all tenors on Friday. read more
** Chinese H-shares listed in Hong Kong (.HSCE) fell 0.67% to 8,703.2, while the Hang Seng Index (.HSI) was down 0.75% at 24,766.26.
** Shares of mainland property firms (.HSMPI) fell 0.89%, with beleaguered developer China Evergrande Group (3333.HK) falling 2.78% and Country Garden Holdings Co Ltd (2007.HK), tumbling 5.89%.
** Evergrande said Friday it was hiring more financial and legal advisers to help it with demands from creditors, after a group of international creditors threatened to take legal action if it did not show more urgency to resolve a default. read more
** The smaller Shenzhen index (.SZSC) was down 1.19%, the start-up board ChiNext Composite index (.CNT) was weaker by 1.18% and Shanghai's tech-focused STAR50 index (.STAR50) was down 1.06%​.
** The yuan was quoted at 6.3429 per U.S. dollar, 0.02% weaker than the previous close of 6.3415.
($1 = 6.3423 Chinese yuan)
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