China stocks decline on COVID, economic woes; property shares jump

China stocks decline on COVID, economic woes; property shares jump

(Updates to market close)

SHANGHAI, Aug 19 (Reuters) - China stocks closed down on Friday as concerns over rising COVID-19 cases and a sluggish economic recovery lingered, while real estate developers shined during the week on expectations that authorities would support the embattled sector.

The blue-chip CSI300 index .CSI300 fell 0.7%, while the Shanghai Composite Index .SSEC lost 0.6%.

The Hang Seng index .HSI rose 0.1%, while the China Enterprises Index .HSCE gained 0.3%.

** For the week, the CSI 300 index went down nearly 1%, while the Hang Seng index dropped 2%.

** The tech-focused STAR market .STAR50 declined 3.3%, while semiconductors .CSIH30184 and new energy firms .CSI399808 lost nearly 3% each.

** Concerns about rising COVID-19 cases lingered. Mainland China reported 2,804 new cases for Thursday, down slightly from over 3,000 daily cases from previous two days.

** Real estate developers .CSI000952 jumped 2.8% while energy companies .CSIEN added 2.3%.

** China is widely expected to lower its benchmark lending rates on Monday, a Reuters survey showed, with a vast majority of participants predicting a deeper cut to the mortgage reference to lift the ailing property sector and the overall economy.

** The five-year tenor CNYLPR5Y=CFXS , where all 30 participants expected a cut, influences the pricing of home mortgages.

** Property developers soared 6.5% for the week, amid stimulus expectations as sources told Reuters that China will guarantee new onshore bond issues by a few select private developers.

** China has issued its first national drought alert of the year, as local governments race to maintain power and find fresh water to irrigate crops ahead of the autumn harvest.

** Analysts said investors would keep an eye on whether the shortage in power supply impacts enterprises' operations and short-term economic development.

** China's cyberspace watchdog wants to build an "affectionate" relationship between internet enterprises and the government, a senior official said, the latest verbal assurance to an industry still on edge after a long and bruising regulatory crackdown.

** Tech giants listed in Hong Kong .HSTECH closed flat after the news, and were down 3.6% for the week, as an audit deal between the Chinese and U.S. regulators remained uncertain.
Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Mark Heinrich