Financials help Hang Seng overcome tech slump; China blue-chips slip

* Hang Seng TECH index down 1.9% at midday; financials up 1.37%

* SEC adopts Trump-era measures toward delisting

* HSI +0.04%, CSI300 -0.13%, SSEC -0.01%

* China apparel firms surge amid Xinjiang outcry

SHANGHAI, March 25 (Reuters) – Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index edged up on Thursday, as gains in financials and consumer stocks offset the impact of a tech rout following overnight Nasdaq losses, after the U.S. securities regulator moved to impose measures that could delist some Chinese firms from American exchanges.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Wednesdsay adopted measures under the Trump-era Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act, which aims to remove Chinese companies from U.S. exchanges if they fail to comply with American auditing standards for three years in a row.

The Hang Seng index was up 0.04% at 27,928.26 by the midday break, with financials up 1.37%. It slipped as much as 1.48% earlier, dragged down by a 4.95% drop in the Hang Seng TECH index on the SEC news.

The TECH index trimmed losses to end the morning session down 1.9%.

Companies with U.S. listings led declines, with , Alibaba and NetEase falling between 4.45% and 2.97%.

Meanwhile, China’s blue-chip CSI300 index fell 0.13% by midday and the Shanghai Composite Index was down just 0.01%.

Chinese H-shares fell 0.9%.

Investors are overreacting to the SEC news, said Alex Wong, director at Ample Finance Group, Hong Kong, adding that the move would have little overall impact on the territory.

Tech firms also faced pressure from reports that China is considering creating a state-backed joint venture with domestic tech firms to oversee user data.

Data monitoring would remain a “lingering concern” for China’s tech investors, said Dave Wang, portfolio manager at Singapore’s Nuvest Capital.

“The market is going through a ‘sell first, ask questions later’ phase … investors think (authorities) want to use the big tech firms to monitor citizens,” he said, adding, users may leave such platforms.

Chinese apparel and clothing companies, however, surged over a social media storm on Xinjiang cotton.

ANTA Sports Products Ltd jumped 7.77% after it said it will continue to use Chinese cotton, including from Xinjiang.

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