* SSE + 0.63 pct; HSI -0.20 pct; H-shares -0.45 pct
* Falling money market rates ease tightening fears
* Mixed China macro data leads to caution
* Wait-and-see mode before China parliament session -
By Gabriel Wildau
SHANGHAI, Feb 19 Mainland stocks crept higher on
Wednesday, as a fall in money market rates eased concern over
monetary tightening, while Hong Kong shares slipped on
The Shanghai Composite Index was up 0.6 percent at
midday, while the Hang Seng Index fell 0.2 percent.
Shanghai shares eased off a two-month high on Tuesday after
China's central bank drained cash from the banking system
through open market operations for the first time in eight
But the overnight cash rate fell to its lowest
level since May on Wednesday, indicating that liquidity remains
ample, at least for the moment.
On the mainland, energy stocks outperformed, with the energy
sub-index gaining 1.21 percent, boosted by China
Shenhua Energy Corp, which gained 1.4 percent after
it announced that coal production rose 18 percent year-on-year
China Citic Bank Corp provided the biggest boost
to the Shanghai index, adding 7.5 percent after reporting net
profit growth of 26 percent in 2013. Citic's Hong Kong shares
gained 3.7 percent.
Hong Kong stocks edged lower on Wednesday as investors took
profit on cyclical stocks and waited on the sidelines ahead of a
China manufacturing survey, the HSBC China flash purchasing
manager's index (PMI), due to be released on Thursday.
Jackson Wong, Tanrich Securities' vice-president for equity
sales, said one factor fuelling the profit-taking in cyclical
stocks was uncertainty over the economy's direction ahead of the
annual meeting of China's parliament in March.
"Since we have a bounce back from the low of last week to
the current level, a lot of profit-taking is going on, we are
lacking some good news to propel the market towards further
upside," Wong said.
The China Enterprise Index of mainland firms listed in Hong
Kong fell 0.45 percent.
China's recent macro-economic data has painted a mixed
picture, with strong trade and bank lending figures suggesting
resilient growth, while the PMI for January was the weakest in
Shares in China's Dongfeng Motor Group Co fell 0.9
percent after the company said it will invest 800 million euros
($1.10 billion) in French carmaker Peugeot SA PEUP.PA via a
share sale and rights issue, which France's government will