Hong Kong, mainland shares weak as economy jitters remain

Fri May 9, 2014 1:01am EDT

Related Topics

* HSI +0.03 pct, H-shares -0.5 pct, CSI300 -0.3 pct

* CSI property subindex down 1.7 pct on slowdown fears

* Hong Kong-listed mainland telcos fall on venture questions

By Natalie Thomas

BEIJING, May 9 (Reuters) - Mainland stocks fell on Friday and Hong Kong was flat, leaving major indexes on course for weekly losses as fears about a slowdown in China continue to hurt investor confidence.

On the day, mainland stocks were trimmed by inflation data that implied tepid demand, while volatility in telecoms shares was a drag on the Hong Kong indexes. A sell-off in Great Wall Motor shares impacted mainland and Hong Kong indexes.

At midday, the Hang Seng Index was flat at 21,837.12 points, and down 1.9 percent on the week. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong was down 0.5 percent for the day.

The CSI300 index of the largest Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings was off 0.3 percent on Friday, as was the Shanghai Composite Index. The Shanghai benchmark was at 2015.27 points, down 0.9 percent on the week.

Data for data for April showed China's consumer prices rose at their slowest rate in 18 months, while producer deflation persisted, underscoring sluggish demand in the world's second-largest economy.

"In terms of the overall environment, the economy is not very good and stimulating policies are not very strong, said Du Changchun, an analyst at Northeastern Securities in Shanghai.

"In the short term, unless we see some new stimulus or economic policy, I don't think there will be much flexibility for strong market performance," Du said.

Property concerns also dragged on the market, with the CSI property subindex down 1.7 percent, as more firms exhibit signs of stress as the once red-hot sector cools.

Friday's losses were led by Yangao Group Ltd, down 6.3 percent, while China Fortune land Co Ltd declined 2.0 percent.

News that Great Wall Motor Co Ltd, would halt delivery of its newly-launched Haval H8 due to a quality issue triggered a sell-off in the stock, with Hong Kong-listed shares in China's biggest maker of sport utility vehicles down 15.9 percent, while losses on the mainland hit the 10 percent daily trading limit.

In Hong Kong, shares of the three mainland mobile phone carriers erased most of Thursday's gains as they try to forge an infrastructure joint venture.

China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd lost 3.3 percent and China Telecom Corp Ltd slid 2.4 percent. China Mobile Ltd was down 0.7 percent.

"This is a very difficult move for the whole sector. Who's going to take control and whether the existing network will be transferred to the new company is still a question mark," said Steven Leung, sales director at UOB Kay Hian in Hong Kong. (Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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