(Updates to close)
* HSI +1.2 pct, H-shares +1.7 pct, CSI300 +0.5 pct
* Metal plays buoyed by report of Beijing stockpile
* Shanghai volume at 2-1/2-mth low, HK turnover 15 pct below
* Next Media suspended after slumping 13 pct in early trade
By Clement Tan
HONG KONG, Nov 14 Hong Kong shares recovered
from a one-month low on Wednesday, led by metal producers after
Chinese state media confirmed an earlier Reuters report that
Beijing had resumed stockpiling metals in a move seen supporting
Reuters had first reported on Monday that China's State
Reserves Bureau issued tenders to buy 160,000 tonnes of primary
aluminium and 150,000 tonnes of zinc ingots from local smelters.
On Wednesday, sources told Reuters that these tenders had been
delayed to Thursday.
The Hang Seng Index rose 1.2 percent, while the China
Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong
Kong rose 1.7 percent. Wednesday's gains helped both indexes
recover most of Tuesday's losses that prodded them to a
one-month closing low.
In the mainland, the CSI300 Index of the top
Shanghai and Shenzhen listings rose 0.5 percent, while the
Shanghai Composite Index firmed 0.4 percent. Both
onshore China indexes had closed on Tuesday at a seven-week low.
But gains in Shanghai came on the lowest bourse volume since
Aug. 31. Hong Kong turnover declined 7 percent from Tuesday and
was some 15 percent below its average over the last 30 days.
"In this environment where there's so much uncertainty over
the U.S. fiscal situation, these sectors offer some certainty
because of government investment right now," said Jackson Wong,
Tanrich Securities' vice-president for equity sales.
A vote before the 18th Communist Party congress ended
earlier on Wednesday that sent the 10 leading candidates for the
Politburo Standing Committee into the Central Committee, also
further soothed jitters, Wong added.
The full Politburo Standing Committee lineup is expected to
be announced at 0300 GMT on Thursday.
On Wednesday, shares of Aluminum Corporation of China
(Chalco), the country's largest aluminum producer, led
gains among components on the Hang Seng and CSI300 indexes,
jumping 4.7 percent in Shanghai and 2.8 percent in Hong Kong.
Wong said there were a "fair amount" of investors rotating
into metal counters, such as Chalco, after the recent spate of
Before Wednesday, Chalco was down 8.5 percent from a Nov. 7
high in Hong Kong. It is still down 1.8 percent on the year, set
for a third-straight annual loss. In 2012, the Hang Seng Index
is up 16 percent while the China Enterprises Index is up 5
Chinese steel counters also rebounded following Tuesday's
losses. Angang Steel rose 3.8 percent in
Hong Kong and 0.6 percent in Shenzhen.
But in a sign that things are still to come, the China Iron
& Steel Association (CISA) warned on Wednesday that overcapacity
will continue to eat into margins despite falling inventories
and a recent rally in steel prices in China.
In Hong Kong, Chinese banks were also stronger. China
Construction Bank led gains among its "Big Four"
Chinese bank rivals, rising 3.2 percent.
But short interest stayed elevated for CCB shares,
accounting for 13.9 percent of its turnover on Wednesday,
compared to 7.8 percent for the broader Hong Kong market --
consistent with most of November.
TENCENT MAY FACE PRESSURE
Tencent Holdings slipped 0.9 percent in Hong Kong,
trimming 2012 gains to 71.6 percent, partly put on the defensive
after sector rival Nasdaq-listed Baidu di ved nearly 6
After markets closed on Wednesday, the Chinese Internet
giant posted 3.2 billion yuan in third-quarter net profit, below
a 3.5 billion yuan Reuters consensus forecast, suggesting its
shares could come under further pressure on
Tencent is currently trading at 25 times forward 12-month
earnings, an 8 percent discount to its historical median,
according to Thomson Reuters StarMine.
Shares of Next Media were halted in early trading
after slumping 13 percent to its lowest in a month in Hong Kong.
Taiwanese media reported that the country's financial
regulator had demanded businessman Jeffrey Koo not take control
of Next Media's Taiwan assets as part of a deal agreed last
month as it does not want financial industry executives to
control or run media.
(Editing by Jacqueline Wong)