* HSI -0.5 pct, H-shares -0.8 pct, CSI300 -0.7 pct
* Hong Kong indexes have biggest monthly loss since June
* Sands China ends up 2.5 pct after starting 3 pct down
* China Shipping Development tanks after warning of loss
By Clement Tan
Jan 30 Hong Kong shares ended January near a
five-month low, as risk appetites were reduced on Thursday by
the U.S. Federal Reserve's fresh cut in monetary stimulus and an
underwhelming private survey of China factory activity.
Mainland Chinese markets also retreated, ahead of a
week-long Lunar New Year holiday that starts on Friday. Hong
Kong markets closed at mid-day Thursday and will resume trading
The Hang Seng Index ended down 0.5 percent at
22,035.4 points, while the China Enterprises Index of
the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong sank 0.8 percent. Early on
Thursday, both indexes touched their lowest levels since August,
but they pared losses before the close.
They shed 5.5 and 9.2 percent, respectively, in January,
making it their worst month since June.
The Shanghai Composite Index, at its midday trading
break, was down 0.5 percent, while the CSI300 of the
largest Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings was off 0.7
For January, they were down 3.6 and 5 percent, respectively.
During 2013, they tanked 6.7 and 7.6 percent, weighed down by
slowing growth and a liquidity squeeze amplified by the
resumption of initial public offering (IPO) approvals after a
halt of more than a year.
"There's too much going on right now, markets are still
fragile so much of today's action is about not taking
unnecessary risks ahead of the holiday," said Linus Yip, a Hong
Kong-based strategist with First Shanghai Securities.
"But I think people need to be prepared to see China's
economy slowing more than what the consensus is expecting," Yip
PROFIT-TAKING IN OUTPERFORMERS
Hong Kong's Thursday losses came in relatively robust
volumes. Growth-sensitive sectors were among the biggest index
drags as investors also took profit in some outperformers while
rolling into the Macau casino sector.
China Merchant Bank sank 1.7 percent in
Hong Kong and 1.1 percent in Shanghai. Anhui Conch Cement
shed 1.8 percent in Hong Kong and 1.7
percent in Shanghai.
Sands China ended Thursday up 2.5 percent,
recovering from an early drop of more than 3 percent after its
parent Las Vegas Sands reported fourth-quarter results
broadly in line with expectations.
Lenovo Group tumbled 8.2 percent after closing on
Wednesday at its highest since April 2000. The Chinese
technology giant said it agreed to buy Google Inc's
Motorola handset division for $2.9 billion in its second major
deal involving the U.S. in a week.
China Shipping Development dived 4.7 percent in
Hong Kong after it warned late on Wednesday of a loss of up to
$380.2 million for 2013.
The China Markit/HSBC final manufacturing PMI for January
dipped to 49.5 from December's 50.5, the first deterioration in
six months. This was in line with the 49.6 reported in the flash
PMI a week earlier, which some analysts cited as one catalyst
for an emerging markets selloff in the past few sessions.
The Fed's well-flagged decision to trim its bond-buying
programme by a further $10 billion a month fuelled market gloom,
due to the prospect of fresh outflows from emerging markets
which would hurt those economies.