China shares flat as investors await policy signs

* SSEC -0.04%, CSI300 +0.04%, HSI +0.1%

* New energy vehicle shares lead gains

* China set to report first population decline since 1949

SHANGHAI, April 28 (Reuters) – Mainland shares were nearly flat on Wednesday as investors awaited key politburo meeting for policy deliberations, shrugging off strong company earnings as economy recovered from the pandemic.

** At the midday break, the Shanghai Composite index was down 0.04% at 3,441.10, while the blue-chip CSI300 index inched up 0.04% to 5090.52.

** Leading the gains, the sub-index of new energy vehicles gained 1.9% while the energy sector rose 1.4%.

** The financial sector sub-index was down 0.24% while the consumer staples sector fell 0.76%. ** Chinese H-shares listed in Hong Kong rose 0.01% to 10,984.95, while the Hang Seng Index was up 0.13% at 28,978.49.

** The smaller Shenzhen index was up 0.49%, the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was higher by 1.83% and Shanghai’s tech-focused STAR50 index was up 0.63%.

** Shares in Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd, the world’s biggest battery maker for new energy vehicles, climbed as much as 7.6% in the morning after reporting a 22% jump in its 2020 net profit.

** Hong Kong shares of restaurant group Yum China Holdings Inc rose to their highest since Feb. 18 after reporting better than expected revenue for the first quarter.

** China is set to report its first population decline since 1949, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday, complicating the challenges faced by policymakers to ensure the country’s long-term economic growth. ** Investors are expecting a politburo meeting, the top decision-making body of China’s ruling Communist Party, to happen sometime later this week for comments and guidance on policy deliberations.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was weaker by 0.16% while Japan’s Nikkei index was up 0.35%.

** The yuan was quoted at 6.4862 per U.S. dollar, 0.05% weaker than the previous close of 6.483.

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