* SSEC -0.1%, CSI300 -0.1%, HSI 1.7%
* Healthcare firms rise on strong earnings
* Tech shares gain on Beijing's concession for auditing
SHANGHAI, March 23 (Reuters) - Chinese shares were little
changed on Wednesday, as cautious investors awaited government
measures to stabilise the economy amid a surge in COVID-19
** At the midday break, the Shanghai Composite index was
down 0.14% at 3,255.32 points and the blue-chip CSI300 index
** The healthcare sub-index jumped 1.74% on strong
company earnings, and as China urged its people to take vaccines
and carried out mass testing to contain an outbreak of Omicorn
** Authorities in the Chinese city of Shanghai denied rumours of
a city-wide lockdown after a sixth straight increase in daily
asymptomatic coronavirus cases pushed its count to record levels
despite a campaign of mass testing aimed at stifling the spread.
** China aims to produce 100,000 tonnes to 200,000 tonnes of
green hydrogen per annum and have about 50,000 hydrogen-fuelled
vehicles by 2025, as the country pushes to reduce carbon
emission from its transportation and industrial sectors.
** The CSI New Energy Index gained 0.16%, with
shares of hydrogen-related firms such as Hunan Hengguang
Technology Co rising to their daily limit.
** Coal miners fell with the sub-sector index lost
3% as investors locked profits following recent rallies.
** Chinese H-shares listed in Hong Kong rose 1.84% to
7,677.04, while the Hang Seng Index was up 1.73% at
** Tech firms listed in Hong Kong rose gained more
than 3.23% in the morning trading on Beijing's possible
concession for audit issues.
** Chinese regulators have asked some of the country's
U.S.-listed firms, including Alibaba, Baidu and JD.com, to
prepare for more audit disclosures, sources said, as Beijing
steps up efforts to ensure domestic companies remain listed in
** Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index
was firmer by 0.93% while Japan's Nikkei index
was up 2.66%.
** The yuan was quoted at 6.3684 per U.S. dollar,
0.04% weaker than the previous close of 6.366.
(Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; editing by Uttaresh.V)