China shares fall to one-month low on liquidity concerns, HK edges lower

Thu Oct 23, 2014 12:43am EDT

* HSI -0.4 pct, H-shares flat, CSI300 -0.7 pct

* Liquidity concerns weigh on China shares

* Hong Kong main index down on Wall St loss

By Kazunori Takada

SHANGHAI, Oct 23 (Reuters) - China shares fell to one-month lows by midday on Thursday, dampened by concerns over liquidity amid a rush of initial public offerings as well as profit-taking pressure.

The Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.9 percent to 2,305.6 points by the midday break, the lowest level since Sept. 24. The CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings also declined 0.7 percent to a one-month low.

"Especially after gaining more than 10 percent since July, it is common for investors to take profits and the market to digest previous gains," said Zhang Qi, an analyst at Haitong Securities in Shanghai, adding that the current price correction would likely end soon.

Weighing on market sentiment are concerns over liquidity as a slew of companies conduct IPOs this week. Local media estimate that as much as 900 billion yuan ($147.1 billion) in funds would be locked up from the market.

In addition, the central bank declined to inject money into the interbank market for the second consecutive week via its open market operations.

Most heavyweight stocks fell, dragging the market lower. PetroChina Co Ltd fell 1.0 percent and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp declined 1.4 percent.

China Shipbuilding Industry Co Ltd dropped 2.1 percent after gaining the previous session on government support policies.

The market had little reaction to a private survey showing China's factory sector grew a touch faster in October as the figure does not point to a turnaround in the final quarter of the year. Growth in new orders at home and abroad slowed in October and producer prices fell, underscoring the pressures facing the slowing economy.

Infrastructure-related stocks gained following news that China has approved construction of five airports and three railway projects worth 150 billion yuan, the latest move to speed up infrastructure projects to boost growth.

The top two state-owned railway companies rose, with China CNR Corp Ltd climbing 5.1 percent and CSR Corp Ltd gaining 5.6 percent. Weihai Guangtai Airport Equipment Co Ltd jumped 4.0 percent.

HONG KONG

Hong Kong shares dipped, with the Hang Seng Index falling 0.4 percent to 23,320.3 points. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong was flat.

Analyst said investors were mainly reacting to a drop on Wall Street overnight although losses in Hong Kong were relatively limited.

Share prices of oil firms fell, erasing gains from Wednesday, despite a recovery in global oil prices.

By midday, Sinopec was flat, China Oilfield Service Ltd. shed 3.3 percent and PetroChina fell 0.2 percent.

The telecoms sector continued its decline, with China Unicom declining 2.8 percent and China Mobile dropping 1.3 percent.

($1 = 6.1191 Chinese yuan) (Additional reporting by Shanghai Newroom; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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