(Updates to midday)
* HSI slips 0.2 pct, CSI300 inches up 0.1 pct
* Turnover weak ahead of ECB meeting and key China, U.S.
* China railway sector surge after Beijing project approval
* Goldman Sachs trim expected returns from Chinese equities
By Clement Tan
HONG KONG, Sept 6 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares slipped at
midday on Thursday while onshore Chinese markets were little
changed as news of more infrastructure spending in the mainland
failed to spur investors back into the market ahead of several
Turnover stayed weak ahead of a European Central Bank
meeting later in the day, U.S. payrolls data on Friday and fresh
China data over the weekend. Attention has turned to central
banks for easing cues, with first half corporate earnings mostly
out of the way.
The Shanghai Composite Index and the CSI300 Index
of the top Shanghai and Shenzhen listings each edged
up 0.1 percent at midday. The China Enterprises Index of
the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong slipped 0.1 percent.
The Hang Seng Index closed down 0.2 percent at
19,110.2, hovering at its lowest levels since July 26. It has
now slipped 5.8 percent since hitting Aug. 14 highs, but is
still up 3.7 percent on the year.
"It's fashionable to be bearish right now, but I think
investors should be positioned for a short-term bounce. At least
one of ECB, the Fed or PBoC will move to ease policy in some
way," said Hong Hao, chief strategist at Bank of Communications
Beijing has abstained from formal policy easing such as cuts
to interest rates and bank reserve requirements, instead
resorting to investing in infrastructure projects to stem the
slowdown in the world's second-largest economy.
On Friday, the Chinese railway was strong after state-run
media reported that China's top economic planning body has
approved 25 rail projects that could be worth more than 700
billion yuan ($110.3 billion).
CSR Corp jumped 8 percent in Hong Kong
and 3.4 percent in Shanghai. China Railway Construction
soared 6.2 percent in Hong Kong and 4.2
percent in Shanghai.
Most railway sector stocks have outperformed the broader
market this year. China Railway Construction is up 18.5 percent
in Shanghai this year, compared to the 6.1 percent loss on the
Goldman Sachs analysts pared their near-term return forecast
for Chinese equities on Thursday, while moving China from
"overweight" to "market weight" on a regional basis on delays in
Their three-month target for the CSI300 Index is 2,350,
about 5 percent higher than the current 2202 level, and the
9,100 for the China Enterprises Index, about 2 percent lower
than the current 9013.7.
MACAU CASINO, HK PROPERTY KEY DRAGS
The Macau casino sector was broadly weaker, with Sands China
shedding 3.5 percent and Wynn Macau losing
4.4 percent with traders attributing the decline to weakening
baccarat revenue, the top money spinner for the sector.
The Hong Kong property sector was also weak with Sun Hung
Kai Properties down 0.9 percent and Hang Lung Property
shedding 1.9 percent.
In a note on Thursday, Citi analysts said the sector could
see further weakness in stock prices. They expect concerns over
more controls on the sector to curb rising housing prices
because measures announced last week are unlikely to lower
(Additional reporting by Vikram Subhedar; Editing by Sanjeev