Hong Kong shares set for worst weekly loss in a year, China weaker too

Fri Jun 7, 2013 1:02am EDT

Related Topics

* HSI -1.3 pct, H-shares -1.9 pct, CSI300 -1.0 pct

* HSI nears chart support at April low

* China indexes set to snap 5-week winning streak

* PICC Group dives, traders say likely block sale

By Clement Tan

HONG KONG, June 7 (Reuters) - Hong Kong shares are set for their worst weekly loss in a year as investors brace for U.S. jobs data later in the day that could set the stage for a tapering of the Federal Reserve's monetary stimulus.

Mainland Chinese markets were also weaker on Friday, set for their first weekly loss in six as investors grapple with tight money supply ahead of a three-day public holiday next week and a slew of fresh economic data for May starting over the weekend.

At midday, the Hang Seng Index was down 1.3 percent at 21,549.7 points. Chart support was seen at its April low at about 21,423. Traders said losses accelerated after index futures broke below 21,400 in late morning trade.

The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong slid 1.9 percent. The CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings shed 1 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index sank 0.8 percent.

On the week, the Hang Seng Index is now down 3.8 percent, its fourth consecutive weekly slide and the worst since May 2012. The H-share index is now down 4.1 percent. The CSI300 and Shanghai Composite are down 4 and 3.3 percent, respectively.

"It's getting quite frustrating," said Larry Jiang, chief strategist at Guotai Junan International Securities. "I don't think anybody is in too much of a hurry to do too much, and even then, it's quite difficult to look beyond the short term now."

On Friday, PICC Group tumbled 5.5 percent to HK$3.62, nearing the HK$3.48 at which its $3.1 billion initial public offering last November was priced. Losses came in almost eight times its 30-day average volume in what traders said was a likely block sale.

It counted American International Group, China utility State Grid Corp, China's leading gold miner Zijin Mining Group and China Life Insurance among its cornerstone investors, who typically agree to a lock up period of typically six or 12 months, during which they will not sell their shares.

Aluminum Corporation of China (Chalco) slipped 0.3 percent in Hong Kong and 0.5 percent in Shanghai after it said it would sell some aluminum fabrication and alumina assets to its parent.

Data over the weekend will likely show growth in China investment and factory output probably remained listless in May on soft domestic demand, a Reuters poll showed, heightening risks that the Chinese economy may cool further in the second quarter.

China's new leaders have adopted a greater tolerance for a slowdown in the economy than their predecessors and are likely to allow quarterly growth to slip as far as 7 percent before triggering fresh stimulus to lift activity, sources told Reuters.

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