HONG KONG May 23 Hong Kong shares sank deeper
into the red on Thursday and looked set for a third-straight
loss after a preliminary private survey of May manufacturing
activity in China came in at a seven-month low.
Financial, materials and energy counters led the slide after
China's HSBC flash purchasing managers' index (PMI) slipped to
49.6, slipping under the 50-point level demarcating expansion
from contraction for the first since October.
By 0215 GMT, the Hang Seng Index was down 1.5 percent
at 22,912.5 points, sliding again after closing on Monday at its
highest since early February. The China Enterprises Index
fell 1.8 percent.
Mainland Chinese markets were relatively more resilient. The
Shanghai Composite Index and the CSI300 of the
leading Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings each shed 0.7
In Hong Kong, PetroChina fell 2.5 percent to its
lowest in a month, while Aluminum Corporation of China
slid 3.4 percent and Bank of Commucation sank 2.1
The dim mood weighed on the Hong Kong debut of Sinopec
Engineering, which fell below its HK$10.50 IPO price,
itself at the lower end of the marketed HK$9.80-HK$13.10 range.
Huaneng Power rebounded strongly, gaining 4.9
percent from Wednesday's two-month closing low. It had
plummetted in the first three days of the week on concerns that
lower tariffs could hurt margins of Chinese power producers.