Hong Kong shares headed for best day in 3 weeks, China weak despite encouraging PMI

Last Updated: Mon, Sep 02, 2013 04:00 hrs

* HSI +1.9 pct, H-shares +2 pct, CSI300 +0.1 pct

* Hong Kong rises on upbeat China PMI

* Index heavyweights drag China shares lower

* Kweichow Moutai drops most in nearly five years after weak H1

* Everbright Securities, in resumed trading, drops 10 pct

By Yimou Lee

HONG KONG, Sept 2 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares looked set for their best day in three weeks on Monday, buoyed by upbeat China factory activity data that raised hopes the world's second-largest economy was on a firmer footing.

But Chinese shares were mixed, as gains in cyclical sectors were offset by plunges in index heavyweights such as premium liquor producer Kweichow Moutai Co Ltd and Everbright Securities.

At 0338 GMT, the Hang Seng Index was up 1.9 percent at 22,141.14 points, a two-week high. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong rose 2 percent.

The CSI300 rose 0.1 percent, while the Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.1 percent at 2,095.73 points.

"Not only did the HSBC and official PMI figures show signs of economic recovery, but there was also a strong rebound in listed companies' earnings in the second quarter," said Cao Xuefeng, head of research at Huaxi Securities in Chengdu.

"If the liquidity condition also improved, these will provide some supports and we will see an upward trend for the A-share market."

The final Markit/HSBC Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) climbed to 50.1 in August, up sharply from July's 47.7 and in line with last week's flash preliminary reading.

The survey came a day after China's official manufacturing PMI showed factory activity expanded at the fastest pace in more than a year in August with a jump in new orders.

Shares in China Railway Construction Corporation Ltd rose 4.6 percent in Hong Kong and 2.6 percent in Shanghai after its first half net profit rose 46.6 percent.

China Railway Group Ltd gained 2.8 percent in Hong Kong and 1.1 percent in Shanghai after its first half net profit jumped 45.9 percent.

Chinese liquor makers sank after industry leader Kweichow Moutai reported its smallest first-half net profit since its listing as Beijing's ongoing crackdown on lavish spending and corruption took its toll.

Kweichow Moutai fell 9.4 percent and looked set for its worst daily percentage loss in almost five years, while smaller rival Wuliangye Yibin Co Ltd dropped 4.5 percent to its lowest since June 2009.

Shares in China's Everbright Securities plunged 10 percent in Shanghai, the maximum permitted daily change, as trading resumed on Monday after the brokerage announced the resignation of two senior executives.

The company has fallen more than 25 percent since Aug.t 16, when a glitch in the brokerage's computer system caused an unintended placement of buy orders to the exchange and led to a massive but short-lived jump in the Shanghai Composite Index .

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