HONG KONG, March 7 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares
slumped to a third consecutive loss on Wednesday, with weakness
in China Life Insurance as investors locked in profit
ahead of corporate earnings later this month from Chinese
companies that are unlikely to match expectations.
The Hang Seng Index closed down 0.86 percent at
20,627.78. The China Enterprises Index of top mainland
listings in Hong Kong ended down 1.28 percent at 10,976.49.
The Shanghai Composite Index finished down 0.65
percent at 2,394.79, its lowest close in two weeks as A-share
turnover declined for a second straight session.
* China Life Insurance Co Ltd suffered its worst
single-day performance since Nov. 10 after the world's largest
insurer by market value warned late on Tuesday that its 2011 net
profit would fall by up to 50 percent, blaming lower investment
yields and an increase in impairment losses caused by capital
market fluctuations. Losses this week have shaved about
two-thirds off China Life's 2012 gains to date. It dropped 6.1
percent on Wednesday to close at the lowest since Jan. 17,
bringing its loss on the week to 13.3 percent. China Life is up
8.6 percent in the year to date.
* Want Want China Holdings Ltd was a standout
outperformer, extending gains after posting a 2011 net profit
that bettered expectations on Tuesday, suggesting investors were
ready to invest in companies with strong fundamentals. The
Chinese snack maker jumped 7 percent in almost three times its
30-day average volume to close at the highest since its listing
debut in March 2008.
(Reporting by Clement Tan; Editing by Chris Lewis)