Hong Kong and China shares fall, insurers drag

Fri Jun 27, 2014 12:54am EDT

* HSI -0.2 pct, H-shares -0.8 pct, CSI300 -0.2 pct

* H-share index head for worst week in 2 months

* China insurers extend losses from June highs

* ChiNext at 3-month high helped by IPO resumption (Updates to midday)

By Grace Li

HONG KONG, June 27 (Reuters) - Hong Kong and China shares slipped on Friday after a strong rally the previous session, with losses led by Chinese insurers who pulled back from highs hit earlier in June.

By midday, the CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings edged 0.2 percent lower, while the Shanghai Composite Index was off 0.4 percent at 2,031.62 points. On the week, they are up 0.4 and 0.2 percent, respectively.

The Hang Seng Index inched down 0.2 percent at 23,155.9 points, also down 0.2 percent this week largely due to hefty losses on Monday.

The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong fell 0.8 percent, off 1.4 percent on the week, its worst since late April.

"Whether the Hong Kong market will go up heavily depends on the China market. If A-shares can have a decent rebound, then Hong Kong can do very well because we're still lagging behind all the mature markets," said Jackson Wong, vice-president of Tanrich Securities in Hong Kong.

The Chinese insurance sector was an obvious drag on all four indexes. Ping An Insurance Group Co of China shed 1.1 percent in Shanghai and 1.7 percent in Hong Kong, retreating from their 2-month high last week.

China Pacific Insurance Group slid 3.3 percent in Shanghai from this year's closing high on Tuesday, while China Life Insurance lost 2.0 percent in Hong Kong.

In a research note dated June 19, Nomura reiterated its bearish stance on the sector, citing concerns about the insurers' exposure to debt-investment plans.

The ChiNext of mostly high-tech start-ups listed in Shenzhen was this week's outperformer among indexes, benefiting from the resumption of initial public offerings which helped divert money to growth stocks. It added 0.3 percent in the morning to extend gains to 5 percent on the week.

In Shenzhen, the three new listing which started trading on Thursday surged by their maximum 10 percent limit soon after the market opened, with turnover low showing holders are still waiting for further gains.

Shanghai Lianming Machinery will start trading in Shanghai on Monday.

Leading gains on the Hang Seng was again Want Want China Holdings, which rose 1.5 percent to its highest since May 30 following a 5.3 percent jump on Thursday.

Daiwa Capital Markets initiated coverage on the company on Thursday with a "buy" and said they expected "a re-rating in the coming months, driven by a sales growth recovery from 2H14 and operating margin expansion." (Reporting by Grace Li; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)