Shanghai shares slip from 2-month high, Sinopec surges

HONG KONG Thu Feb 20, 2014 2:04am EST

HONG KONG Feb 20 (Reuters) - Shanghai shares slipped from a two-month high on Thursday, as a weak private survey of February manufacturing activity outweighed robust gains for Sinopec Corp stemming from the first signs of reform at a state-owned enterprise.

The Shanghai Composite Index, which finished on Wednesday at its highest since Dec. 16, ended down 0.2 percent at 2,138.8 points. The CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings shed 0.9 percent.

The Nasdaq-style ChiNext Composite Index of mostly high-tech startups listed in Shenzhen slid 1.8 percent.

The China flash Markit/HSBC Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) declined to 48.3 in February, a seven-month low, from January's final reading of 49.5. The employment sub-index fell to its weakest in four years.

China Petroleum and Chemical Corp, known as Sinopec, soared by the maximum 10 percent limit in Shanghai. Investors cheered plans to sell up to 30 percent of its retail oil business to private investors in a multi-billion dollar restructuring aimed at boosting the value of its sprawling downstream arm. (Reporting by Clement Tan; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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