Hong Kong shares fell on
Monday with Macau casinos under selling pressure after last
week's strong rebound, while China markets were also weaker as
investors await major economic data later this week.
At midday, the Hang Seng Index was down 0.2 percent
at 23,494.96 points. The China Enterprises Index of the
top Chinese listings in Hong Kong slipped 0.1 percent.
The CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen
A-share listings and the Shanghai Composite Index were
both off 0.3 percent. The Shanghai benchmark stood at 2,052.42
points after choppy morning trade.
"The active stocks are mainly those new listings and small
caps," said Zhang Qi, a Shanghai-based analyst with Haitong
But Zhang warned about risks from speculating on small caps.
"There's the rising tide but also the falling tide. In the
long run, if these companies cannot sustain profit growth, you
may face relatively big risks if you drive up these stocks," he
Property developers extended gains, with the CSI China
Mainland Real Estate index up 1.2 percent to its
highest since April 25.
China Vanke climbed 3.1 percent in
Shenzhen and 2.7 percent in Hong Kong, following rises of 3.9
and 8.2 percent in the two markets on Friday after the largest
residential property developer said first-half contract sales
were up 20.6 percent from a year ago.
Poly Real Estate Group added 2.2 percent, after
the National Business Daily reported on Monday one luxury
projects has been approved in Beijing at the price of about
100,000 yuan ($16,100) per square metre, a sign that the capital
city has loosened its restrictions on housing prices.
Chongqing Iron & Steel, which gained 6.3 percent
on Friday after a partnership with Korean steelmaker Posco
was announced, dived 4.7 percent after the Chinese
company said that tie-up would have no material impact on its
results, as the benefit would go to its parent.
A leading loser on the Hang Seng was Sands China,
which slid 2.7 percent. Galaxy Entertainment Group,
which jumped 11 percent last week, sank 1.8.
Great Wall Motor lost 4.0 percent in
Hong Kong and 0.9 percent in Shanghai after June sales declined.
Beijing is due to post June inflation data on Wednesday and
trade on Thursday, with loan growth and money supply data
expected between July 10 and 15.
Second quarter GDP growth is due on July 16, as are monthly
urban investment, industrial output and retail sales figures.
($1 = 6.1996 Chinese Yuan Renminbi)