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China shares weaken as investors shed high-value healthcare, tech stocks

* SSEC -0.3%, CSI300 -0.54%

* Hong Kong markets, stock connect morning trade cancelled due to typhoon

* Regional markets track the S&P that hits record highs

BEIJING/SHANGHAI, Aug 19 (Reuters) - China shares slid on Wednesday after three consecutive sessions of gains, as investors took profits in healthcare and technology stocks with hefty valuations.

** At the midday break, the Shanghai Composite index was down 0.3% at 3,440.71 points. ** China’s blue-chip CSI300 index was down 0.54%, with its financial sector sub-index lower by 0.62%, the consumer staples sector was up 0.53%, the real estate index down 1.05% and the healthcare sub-index down 2.51%. ** The smaller Shenzhen index was down 0.86%, the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was weaker by 2.22% and Shanghai’s tech-focused STAR50 index was down 1%.

** Morning trading on Hong Kong’s securities market, including Stock Connect trading and derivatives, was cancelled on Wednesday due to a typhoon affecting the city, bourse operator Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd (HKEX) 0388.HK said.

** “We can see investors are shifting to value stocks with lower valuations while some tech and health care stocks are being sold on concerns over lofty valuations,” said Fu Yanping, analyst with China Galaxy Securities.

** Start-up board led the declines today, as investors are awaiting the market reaction as new listings will soon debut under a new IPO system which will see stocks rising or falling by 20% in a session, Fu added.

** White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said no new high-level talks, related to the trade agreement, have been scheduled between the United States and China

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.42% while Japan’s Nikkei index was up 0.36%. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.921 per U.S. dollar, 0.02% firmer than the previous close of 6.9222.

** Shares in satellite manufacturer China Spacesat Co Ltd surged as much as 10% to their highest in nearly five years on robust northbound inflows in morning trading.

** China Life Insurance Co Ltd dropped as much as 6.6% after dismissing rumors regarding merger of the company with other insurers. (Reporting by Zhang Yan in Beijing, Luoyan Liu and Andrew Galbraith in Shanghai; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

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