Hong Kong shares slip from 7-week high, China tepid after weak PMIs

Last Updated: Thu, May 02, 2013 19:23 hrs

* HSI -0.3 pct, H-shares -0.9 pct, CSI300 +0.1 pct

* Shanghai Comp closes below 200-day MA for 1st time since Dec 24

* Commodities slide as Shanghai physical prices fall sharply

* Lenovo slides after IBM server deal reportedly called off

By Clement Tan and Yimou Lee

HONG KONG, May 2 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares fell from a seven-month high on Thursday as soft China manufacturing data put growth-sensitive counters on the defensive after markets returned from the May Day public holiday.

Mainland Chinese markets were tepid after the long holiday with Shanghai volume at its weakest in three weeks, with the property sector buoyed by a private survey that showed home prices rose for an eleventh-straight month.

The Hang Seng Index slipped 0.3 percent from Tuesday's seven-week closing high to 22,668.3. The China Enterprises Index of the leading Chinese listings fell 0.9 percent.

The CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings finished a choppy session up 0.1 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.2 percent to 2,174.1, closing just below its 200-day moving average for the first time since Christmas Eve.

Shanghai volume was 17 percent below its average in the last month, while Hong Kong turnover was just shy of its average despite climbing its highest this week.

"A-share volumes are still very weak. For retail investors, it's hard to justify putting their money in stocks right now with data looking weak and Beijing not looking like it will loosen policy too much," said Zhang Qi, a Shanghai-based analyst with Haitong Securities.

Jiangxi Copper fell 1.2 percent in Hong Kong and 2.9 percent in Shanghai as Shanghai copper prices tumbled nearly 5 percent after mainland China markets returned from a three-day Golden Week holiday.

Hong Kong markets were also shut on Wednesday.

The final HSBC Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for China dropped to 50.4 in April from March's 51.6. China's official PMI on Wednesday fell to 50.6 in April from an 11-month high of 50.9 in March.

Lenovo Group tumbled 2.7 percent in its worst day in two weeks after Fortune magazine reported that the Chinese personal computer maker and IBM have called off negotiations over a multibillion-dollar deal for Big Blue's low-end server business.

Premium alcohol producers were also hit by a warning on Wednesday that some government officials were avoiding new President Xi Jinping's graft-busting instructions to be frugal by taking banquets and other lavish displays underground, including hiding liquor in water bottles.

Kweichow Moutai fell 1.7 percent in Shanghai, while Wuliangye fell 2.2 percent in Shenzhen.


Chinese property developers were broadly higher after China Real Estate Index System (CREIS), a consultancy tied to China's largest online property firm, Soufun Holdings, said average home prices in April climbed 1 percent from March to 10,098 yuan ($1,600) per square metre.

While investors used to take rising home prices as signs Beijing could further increase curbs on the sectors, anemic macroeconomic data has boosted hopes that the central government will be less forceful in implementing existing measures.

Poly Real Estate climbed 2.1 percent in Shanghai. In Hong Kong, China Overseas Land rose 1.1 percent, while China Resources Land gained 0.6 percent to a three-month high.

Telecom equipment maker ZTE Corp jumped 7.6 percent in Shenzhen as investors cheered its quarterly profit increase that it released after markets closed last Friday.

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