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China, Hong Kong stocks ease on virus worries

* SSEC -0.5%, CSI300 -0.4%, HSI -0.7%

* HK->Shanghai Connect daily quota used -1%, Shanghai->HK daily quota used 2.6%

* FTSE China A50 -0.6%

SHANGHAI, Dec 15 (Reuters) - China and Hong Kong stocks slipped on Tuesday on worries about rising COVID-19 deaths and the economic hit from stricter lockdowns, although strong Chinese economic data capped losses.

** The CSI300 index fell 0.4% to 4,917.39 points by the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.5% to 3,354.02 points.

** The Hang Seng index dropped 0.7% to 26,218.60 points, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index lost 0.6%, to 10,380.38.

** The number of coronavirus deaths in the United States crossed 300,000 on Monday as the hardest hit nation started its first vaccine inoculations.

** The markets were, however, supported by data showing that China’s industrial output grew in line with expectations in November, expanding for the eighth straight month as the economic recovery gathered pace and global demand picked up.

** China could make targeted policy adjustments as the economy improves, the statistics bureau said, after the release of the data.

** China’s central bank on Tuesday rolled over maturing medium-term loans while keeping the interest rate unchanged for an eighth straight month.

** “As China’s economy recovers and monetary policy tightens marginally, limited money could tend to favour sectors with solid fundamentals and reasonable valuations,” Dongxing Securities analysts said in a note.

** The Shanghai Stock Exchange and the Shenzhen Stock Exchange on Monday published proposals for simplifying the delisting process for public companies as China pushes forward with capital market reforms aimed at boosting investment.

** The more stringent delisting rules would help improve the quality of listed companies and thus bode well for the whole market, said Yan Kaiwen, an analyst with China Fortune Securities. (Reporting by Luoyan Liu and Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Aditya Soni)

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