Hong Kong shares close flat, but eke out weekly gain

HONG KONG Fri Feb 1, 2013 3:06am EST

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HONG KONG Feb 1 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares eked out a gain for the week after an afternoon surge in the mainland Chinese market helped pare Friday losses rooted in how an official survey of manufacturing activity in China lagged expectations.

The Hang Seng Index closed flat at 23,721.8 on Friday but inched up 0.6 percent on the week. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong gained 0.7 percent on Friday and 1.8 percent this week.

In the mainland, the CSI300 of the top Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings ended up 2.1 percent on the day and 6.7 percent for the week. The Shanghai Composite Index >.SSEC> climbed 1.4 percent on Friday and 5.6 percent this week.

HIGHLIGHTS:

* Chinese property counters were broadly weaker after the official China Securities Journal newspaper reported that China will postpone expansion of a pilot programme to implement a property tax and that Beijing intends to keep a tight lid on the real estate market through other means in tier 1 cities. A private survey showed average home prices in China's 100 biggest cities rose 1 percent in January from December, worsening the day's jitters.

* Wynn Macau shed 2.3 percent, underperforming the Macau casino sector after getting hit by its parent company's underwhelming quarterly earnings. This was further aggravated by data showing Macau gambling revenue rose a lower-than-expected 7.3 percent from a year before.

* Markets had started the day weaker after China's official purchasing managers index (PMI) eased to 50.4 for January, below December's 50.6 reading and below forecasts for a nine-month high of 50.9. But another private survey released by HSBC showed growth quickening to a two-year high in January. But both surveys showed factory output in the world's second-largest economy rose in January, though the starkly different speeds suggest a patchy revival in activity.

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