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China stocks inch higher as financials gain; Hong Kong down

* SSEC 0.2%, CSI300 0.1%, HSI -0.4%

* HK->Shanghai Connect daily quota used 0.5%, Shanghai->HK daily quota used 1.4%

* FTSE China A50 +0.1%

SHANGHAI, May 24 (Reuters) - China stocks eked out gains on Monday, helped by gains for financial firms, but caution prevailed as investors awaited key U.S. inflation readings for guidance on monetary policy.

** The CSI300 index rose 0.1% to 5,137.63 points at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.2% to 3,492.04 points.

** Leading the gains, the CSI SWS securities index jumped 3%, helping push up the CSI300 financials index by 0.8%.

** Ample liquidity, falling interest rates and commodities prices, as well as China’s crackdown on cryptocurrencies, bode well for securities stocks, TF Securities said in a report.

** The brokerage noted a marked deviation between earnings growth and valuations in the sector, saying the deviation is not in line with China’s new position of the country’s capital markets.

** Investors tread carefully as they await U.S. personal consumption and inflation figures this week.

** The diary has a crowd of Fed speakers this week, including the influential Fed Board Governor Lael Brainard, and markets will be keen to hear if they stick to the script on being patient with policy.

** Digital currency and block-chain related stocks slumped on Monday, after China vowed to crack down on bitcoin mining, trading activities.

** HK-listed Okg Technology Holdings Ltd, an affiliate of crypto exchange OK Coin, Huobi Tech, an affiliate of crypto exchange operator Huobi and BC Technology Group slumped between 4.5% and 18.2%.

** Cryptocurrency mining operators, including Huobi Mall and BTC.TOP, are suspending their China operations after Beijing stepped up its efforts to crack down on bitcoin mining and trading.

** The Hang Seng index dropped 0.4% to 28,342.10 points, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index lost 0.8% to 10,614.25.

** The Hang Seng tech index and the Hang Seng materials index declined 2.2% and 2.0%, respectively. (Reporting by Luoyan Liu and David Stanway; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)

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