SHANGHAI, April 8 (Reuters) – China stocks struggled for direction amid caution around a downtrend in the domestic economy stemming from the worst COVID-19 outbreak in two years, with investors awaiting further easing measures to boost sentiment and economy.
The CSI300 index .CSI300 rose 0.1% to 4,211.81 at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index .SSEC lost 0.1% to 3,234.82.
The Hang Seng index .HSI dropped 0.6% to 21,684.44. The Hong Kong China Enterprises Index .HSCE lost 1.1% to 7,412.64.
** “Range-bound sentiment continues amid concerns on macro recovery, COVID-19 management and tightening liquidity globally,” Morgan Stanley said in a note. “Earnings estimate reductions further accelerated.”
** Shares in healthcare .CSIHCSI, tourism .CSI930633 and computers .CSI930651 lost more than 1% each.
** While energy firms .CSIEN gained 1%, infrastructure companies .CSI000950 added 1.2% and construction engineering stocks .CSI399995 jumped 2.8%.
** China reported 1,576 new confirmed COVID-19 cases and 22,648 new asymptomatic cases on April 7. nB9N2VR01S
** Economists now expect Beijing to take imminent monetary easing measures to prop up the economy and make sure China remains on track to hit its around 5.5% growth target for this year.
** Tech giants listed in Hong Kong .HSTECH fell 2.3% on worries over China-U.S. relations, with e-commerce giant Alibaba Group 9988.HK and food-delivery firm Meituan 3690.HK down 2.9% and 3.5%, respectively. nL2N2W603X
** China said on Thursday it would take strong measures if U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Chinese-claimed Taiwan on her trip, responding to reports she was planning to go. nL2N2W50CC
** Pelosi’s spokesman later in the day said the Democratic leader has tested positive for COVID-19 and is currently asymptomatic, and the congressional delegation trip to Asia she had planned to lead has been postponed. nL2N2W51K3
** “China shows willingness on collaboration on the audit dispute but more confirmation is needed from the U.S. side,” said Morgan Stanley analysts.
** The China Securities Regulatory Commission last week proposed revising confidentiality rules involving offshore listings, removing a legal hurdle to Sino-U.S. cooperation on audit oversight. nL2N2W0082
(Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; editing by Uttaresh.V)
This article originally appeared on reuters.com