* HSI -0.7 pct, H-shares -0.2 pct, CSI300 +0.3 pct
* Chinese financials strong after positive PMI
* Hong Kong off despite China PMI number, due to Fed anxiety
* ZTE at 15-month high in Shenzhen on Q3 profit expectation
By Yimou Lee
HONG KONG, Aug 22 (Reuters) - China shares edged higher on
Thursday, thanks to strength in the financial sector after
better-than-expected results from a manufacturing survey showed
signs of stabilisation in the world's second-largest economy.
Hong Kong markets, which have fallen the past five sessions,
were down again in spite of the China news because the coming
reduction of Fed's stimulus remained a major concern for
The flash HSBC purchasing managers index (PMI), which covers
activity in China's vast manufacturing sector, hit a four-month
high in August.[ID: nL4N0GN0E0]
By midday, the CSI300 rose 0.3 percent, while the
Shanghai Composite Index was up 0.1 percent at 2,074.77
points. Both reversed early losses after the positive
The Hang Seng Index was down 0.7 percent at 21,669.88
points. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese
listings in Hong Kong fell 0.2 percent. Both have dropped more
than 3.5 percent in the past five days.
The PMI reading "is positive of course, but it's too early
to say it would be an uptrend for an extended period. We still
have to wait and see," said Mark To Wing Fung Financial Group
"We will see some kind of rebound, but people will use the
opportunity to liquidate parts of their holdings," he said.
The preliminary index rose to 50.1 from July's final reading
of 47.7, which was the weakest in 11 months, though the new
figure barely topped the watershed 50 line which demarcates
expansion of activities from contraction.
Mid-sized Chinese banks were among the leading gainers on
benchmark indexes. In Shanghai, Minsheng Bank rose
1.3 percent while Merchants Bank gained 0.6 percent.
Ping An Bank rose 1.7 percent to a nearly two-month
high in Shenzhen.
Cyclical counters were broadly strong. In Hong Kong, China
Shenhua moved up 1.7 percent, while China
Coal Energy gained 1.9 percent. Anhui Conch Cement
rose 1.2 percent.
EARNINGS IN FOCUS
For many stocks, earnings remained the focus.
Telecom equipment and smartphone maker ZTE Corp
said it expected a net profit for the July-September
quarter, which spawned a 1 percent rise in Hong Kong and a 2.9
percent gain in Shenzhen, where the stock was at its highest
since May 2012.
China's Bank of Communications Co Ltd
fell 1 percent in Hong Kong after the company posted a 12
percent rise in net profit for January-June, its weakest
first-half in four years, due to slowing loan growth and
squeezed interest margins.
China Resources Enterprise Ltd fell 2.3 percent
after it said on Wednesday it bid for Hong Kong's biggest
supermarket chain, ParknShop, a move analysts said would help
the beer-to-retail conglomerate expand market share.
Shares of Everbright Securities fell another 2.8
percent, taking them 18 percent lower than last Friday, the day
on which the brokerage accidentally purchased more than $1
billion worth of mainland shares.