China shares at lowest since Sept. 28, pulling down Hong Kong

Last Updated: Tue, Nov 13, 2012 05:50 hrs

* HSI -0.9 pct, H-shares -1.7 pct, CSI300 -1.6 pct

* China property curbs to stay, state media say

* A/H premium index nearly back at parity after H-share losses

* Chinese oil majors slide on falling oil prices

By Clement Tan

HONG KONG, Nov 13 (Reuters) - Onshore Chinese shares slid to their lowest since Sept. 28 and weighed on Hong Kong stocks after state media reported that housing market curbs will remain, raising fears the ongoing party congress will spawn little change in economic policies.

Several Chinese media outlets reported that China's housing minister told reporters on Monday at the 18th Communist Party congress that he does not expect any loosening on restrictions on the sector.

Turnover in Hong Kong at midday was the lowest in a week, with traders citing festering uncertainty over the U.S. fiscal situation and further aid to debt-stricken Greece as keeping investors on the sidelines.

The Hang Seng Index went into the midday break down 0.9 percent at 21,238.3. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong shed 1.7 percent. Tuesday's losses took both indices to their lowest since mid-October.

In the mainland, the CSI300 Index of the largest Shanghai and Shenzhen listings sank 1.6 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.4 percent.

Investors are taking the continuation of housing curbs "as perhaps a sign there won't be any loosening or changes in Beijing's economic policy positions in the near term," said Hong Hao, chief equity strategist at Bank of Communications International Securities.

"A lot of the money that has come into offshore Chinese equities in the last nine weeks has gone into the cyclical names, betting on stronger growth from policy changes, but I think they will be disappointed," Hong added.

The China Enterprises Index or the H-share index, has shed 5.2 percent from a Nov. 2 high, after surging 14 percent in September and October, ranking among the top performing indices in those two months.

This compares to the 3.9 percent loss on the CSI300 Index and a 3.2 percent slide on the Shanghai Composite since Nov. 2.

The Hang Seng Index A/H premium index is now at 99.9, its highest since mid-October. It has traded below 100 since Oct. 18, suggesting the premium that onshore markets typically trade over offshore peers was wiped out during that period.

Shares of Chinese oil giants were put on the defensive due to falling oil prices. Chinese media also reported on Tuesday that Beijing could cut gasoline and diesel prices in the mainland for a fourth time this year, perhaps as soon as Wednesday.

In Hong Kong, China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) Corp lost 2.6 percent, while CNOOC shed 1 percent and Petrochina fell 1.4 percent.


On Tuesday, growth-sensitive sectors supplementary the Chinese property sector suffered the brunt of the losses after the state-run China Daily newspaper reported the country's housing minister said Beijing is "actively studying" expanding property tax beyond Chongqing and Shanghai.

Suning Appliances, China's largest home appliance retailer, dived 5 percent in Shenzhen.

Zoomlion Heavy Industry shed 3.2 percent in Hong Kong and 1.6 percent in Shenzhen. Zoomlion was among the top performers among Chinese growth-sensitive names, surged more than 25 percent in September and October.

The Shanghai property sub-index was down 1.5 percent, with Poly Real Estate off 1 percent. Shenzhen-listed China Vanke shed 1.9 percent.

In Hong Kong, China Overseas Land & Investment lost 1.2 percent, trimming its 2012 gains to 58 percent.

Official data for October housing prices is expected on Sunday, but in a sign of things to come, the state-run China Securities Journal, citing data from the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Statistics, reported that Beijing property sales in the first 10 months of 2012 rose 30.4 percent from a year before, surpassing full-year sales in 2011.

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