Thursday, July 7

China stocks climb on bank, energy boost; Hong Kong flat

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SHANGHAI — Gains in banking and energy stocks pushed China shares higher on Tuesday on support from Beijing’s reform measures and firmer oil prices, while deepening regulatory curbs on bitcoin trading slammed digital currency-related firms.

** The CSI300 index rose 0.5% to 5,115.10 points at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.8% to 3,556.75 points.

** Leading the gains, the CSI300 banks index rose 1.4% as investors cheered the government’s latest reform measures for the sector, while the CSI300 energy index climbed 2.3% on oil strength.

** China’s reforms to the way banks calculate deposit rates will help ease pressure on banks’ funding costs, although the impact on lenders and depositors will be limited, an industry body overseeing rates said on Monday.

** From Monday, China has allowed banks to set ceilings on deposit rates by adding basis points to the benchmark rate, a shift from the previous practice of multiplying the benchmark rate, the Self-Disciplinary Mechanism for the Pricing of Market-Oriented Interest Rates said.

** Energy companies climbed on the back of strong oil gains.

** Dual-listed energy giant Petrochina Co Ltd rose 5.1% and 6.4% in Shanghai and Hong Kong, respectively.

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** On the other hand, shares in China’s digital currency and blockchain-related firms retreated as Beijing further tightened its grip on cryptocurrency trading.

** China’s central bank said on Monday it had recently summoned some banks and payment firms, including China Construction Bank and Alipay, urging them to crack down harder on cryptocurrency trading.

** Huobi Tech, an affiliate of crypto exchange operator Huobi, tumbled 18.7% by the midday break.

** The Hang Seng index was unchanged at 28,489.76 points, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index lost 0.3%, to 10,518.65. (Reporting by Luoyan Liu and Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Aditya Soni)