* HSI +1.3 pct, HSCE +1.6 pct, CSI 300 +0.4
* ICBC helps with better-than-expected Q4 profit
By Natalie Thomas and Alice Woodhouse
SHANGHAI/HONG KONG, March 28 Hong Kong shares
produced a solid gain early Friday, lifted by the financial
sector on strong bank earnings, while mainland index edged up,
held down by falls in tech stocks.
By midday, the Hang Seng Index was up 1.3 percent at
22,113.66 points. The index was on track for its best week since
September, as it was up 3.2 percent for this week.
The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese
listings in Hong Kong rose 1.6 percent. The index was heading
for its best week since November, up 6.4 percent this week.
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China
rose 2.8 percent in Hong Kong and 2.1 percent in Shanghai after
the bank announced higher-than-expected net profit growth in the
fourth quarter at 7.9 percent. [ID: nL4N0MO275]
"Short-term, the market movement will still be pretty much
sideways, pending more news," said Ben Kwong, Hong Kong-based
chief operating officer of stockbroker KGI Asia.
The lack of direction in the market means investors will
continue to take clues from individual company news and results
announcements, he said.
The major mainland indexes had a quiet morning, with the
Shanghai Composite Index closing up 0.3 percent at midday
at 2052.57. The CSI300 index of leading Shanghai and Shenzhen A
shares was up 0.4 percent.
Tech shares took a beating though, as investors locked in
profit from the sector, pushing the Nasdaq-style ChiNext
Composite Index of mostly high-tech start-ups down 2
percent by lunch, as investors transferred capital to more
Hong Kong tech shares moved in the opposite direction,
pulled up by online heavyweight Tencent Holdings, which clawed
back some of the previous day's 6.3 percent loss by registering
a 2.4 percent gain.
Shares in telecoms equipment maker ZTE also performed well,
rising 3 percent after the European Commission said it would no
longer pursue an anti-dumping investigation into imports from
China of equipment for mobile telecom networks.
The SSEC and CSI300 indexes also gained briefly on comments
from Premier Li Keqiang, released on state media, that the
government would use targeted measures to support the economy.
But prices soon slipped back, as investors found little that
was new or concrete in the remarks.
"No matter whether you look at industry performance or
economic data, things aren't looking too optimistic. Unless we
see some positive policies the market will not go up too much,"
said Du Changchun, an analyst at Northeast Securities in
Shares in China's biggest automaker SAIC Motor Corp
climbed 9.6 percent, its biggest increase since,
after the company posted forecast-beating 2013 earnings, helped
by robust sales at its ventures with Volkswagen and General
(Editing by Richard Borsuk)