(Updates to midday)
* HSI -0.1 pct, CSI300 -0.6 pct, Shanghai -0.5 pct
* ZTE, Angang Steel hit by profit warnings
* China data mixed, Q3 GDP on Thursday eyed
* Belle at 5-week low after disappointing sales
By Clement Tan
HONG KONG, Oct 15 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares slipped from
their highest close in more than five months on Monday, as
profit warnings from Chinese firms helped stall a six-week rally
driven by market-boosting steps from Beijing.
China's second-largest telecom equipment maker ZTE Corp
and Angang Steel both
warned on earnings, while macro-economic data has painted a
mixed picture with bank lending in September coming in weaker
than expected although export growth beat
"The profit warnings are a sign that China still needs to do
more to support growth, but I think most people are expecting
more fiscal than monetary measures," said Jackson Wong, Tanrich
Securities' vice-president for equity sales.
Recent moves by Beijing have included the acceleration of
infrastructure spending and government funds lifting stakes in
major Chinese banks.
The Hang Seng Index slipped 0.1 percent to 21,110.1,
slipping from its highest close since May 3 recorded last
The CSI300 Index of the top Shanghai and Shenzhen
listings was down 0.6 percent at the midday trading break, while
the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.5 percent.
"The main focus this week is China's Q3 GDP figure on
Thursday. I don't think sentiment will change too much as long
as it's in line with expectations," Wong said
Beijing will announce the official third-quarter growth
figure later this week, expected at 7.4 percent -- which would
miss the official annual mandate of 7.5 percent for 2012, for
the first time since the first quarter of 2009.
ZTE slumped 15.2 percent in Hong Kong and the maximum 10
percent in Shenzhen, both in heavy volume, after flagging a loss
of as much as $279.2 million for the first nine months of the
Angang Steel lost 2.7 percent in Hong Kong and 0.9 percent
in Shenzhen after the company warned late on Friday that it
could make a loss of $505 million for the first nine months this
Belle International, China's leading foot- and
sportswear retailer, slid 3.7 percent after announcing
underwhelming same store sales growth in the third quarter.
Belle is now up 0.3 percent for the year, compared to the
14.5 percent gain for the Hang Seng Index. It is currently
trading at 17.7 times forward 12-month earnings, a 20 percent
discount to its historical median, according to Thomson Reuters
But in a note to clients dated Oct. 12, UBS analysts
maintained their "sell" rating on Belle's stock, saying same
store sales could turn negative in the coming quarters.
(Additional reporting by Vikram Subhedar; Editing by Edwina