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China stocks fall amid fears of tighter liquidity

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SHANGHAI, (Reuters) – China stocks fell on Monday, with the start-up board ChiNext posting its biggest decline in three weeks as expectations of tighter monetary polices stirred worries about market liquidity.

** China is likely to set its 2018 money growth target at an all-time low of around 9 percent to curb debt risks and contain asset bubbles, the official China Daily reported on Monday, citing economists involved in high-level policy discussions.

** At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was down 16.22 points or 0.49 percent at 3,280.84. ** The blue-chip CSI300 index was down 0.31 percent, with its financial sector sub-index lower by 0.14 percent, the consumer staples sector up 0.3 percent, the real estate index up 1.89 percent and healthcare sub-index up 0.32 percent. ** The smaller Shenzhen index ended down 0.93 percent and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index was weaker by 1.32 percent.

** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.04 percent while Japan’s Nikkei index closed up 0.16 percent.

** At 07:01 GMT, the yuan was quoted at 6.5545 per U.S. dollar, 0.33 percent firmer than the previous close of 6.5765.

** The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were First Tractor Co Ltd up 10.07 percent, followed by Wenyi Suntech Co Ltd gaining 10 percent and Chifeng Jilong Gold Mining Co Ltd up by 9.97 percent. **

The largest percentage losses in the Shanghai index were Luenmei Quantum Co Ltd down 10 percent, followed by Anhui Leimingkehua Co Ltd losing 9.97 percent and Nanjing Textiles Import & Export Corp Ltd down 7.59 percent.

** About 14.69 billion shares were traded on the Shanghai exchange, roughly 92.7 percent of the market’s 30-day moving average of 15.85 billion shares a day. The volume in the previous trading session was 12.40 billion. ** As of 07:03 GMT, China’s A-shares were trading at a premium of 30.03 percent over the Hong Kong-listed H-shares. ** The Shanghai stock index is below its 50-day moving average and above its 200-day moving average.