UPDATE 1-Chow Tai Fook shares fall 5 pct after H1 profit down
(Adds details, quotes)
* Chow Tai Fook's shares down after profit falls
* Results lag smaller rival Luk Fook
* Says pickup in China consumption may boost earnings
HONG KONG, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Shares in Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Ltd, the world's biggest jewellery retailer by market value, fell more than five percent on Friday after its six-month profit slumped as a result of slower sales and a hedging loss.
Chow Tai Fook stock, which rose 5.4 percent on Thursday before its earnings release, fell as low as HK$10.30 ($1.33), down 5.2 percent.
The shares erased some losses to trade 3.1 percent down at HK$10.52 by 0205 GMT, lagging a 0.4 percent gain in the benchmark Hang Seng Index.
Smaller rival Luk Fook Holdings (International) Ltd , which jumped more than 10 percent on Thursday after posting better-than-expected first half earnings, slid 2.4 percent early on Friday.
"It was disappointing with Chow Tai Fook as its higher-than-expected hedging loss hit earnings," said Alex Wong, a director at Ample Finance Group, which has funds that invest in Chow Tai Fook and its rival Luk Fook.
"But stocks like Chow Tai Fook and Luk Fook are still worth a bet given that there are signs of a pickup in consumer spending in China."
Chow Tai Fook posted a loss of around HK$680 million on the almost complete hedge of its gold inventories for the six months to September.
Analysts said Luk Fook was benefiting from rising gold prices and relatively lower hedging costs because it hedged only 10-15 percent of gold inventories, lower than Chow Tai Fook's revised 70 percent.
Chow Tai Fook's hedging costs contributed to its six-month net profit falling by a third year-on-year to HK$1.82 billion, below analysts' expectations. The company said it will target e-commerce to boost growth, and is upbeat about a near-term rise in Chinese luxury spending. ($1 = 7.7500 Hong Kong dollars) (Reporting by Donny Kwok; Editing by Daniel Magnowski)
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