* HSI -0.3 pct, H-shares +0.4 pct, CSI300 +0.4 pct
* China property firms make solid advances
* Hong Kong slips as uncertainty lingers
By Alice Woodhouse
HONG KONG, Mar 17 Chinese shares edged higher on
Monday, with property and construction sectors strong after
Beijing announced plans to get more people to move into urban
Hong Kong stocks extended losses and fell to a five-week
low, tracking weakness in global markets on investor uncertainty
over Chinese economic growth and diplomatic tensions over
By midday, the Hang Seng Index was down 0.3 percent
at 21,467.35 points, its lowest level since Feb. 6. The China
Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong
Kong rose 0.4 percent.
The CSI300 of the largest Shanghai and Shenzhen
A-share listings gained 0.4 percent, while the Shanghai
Composite Index was up 0.5 percent at 2,013.83 points.
"We are expecting some kind of small policies or specific
policies on urbanization or infrastructure, so that's why some
of the traditional sectors such as cement, infrastructure,
railways are outperforming the overall markets," said Jackson
Wong, Tanrich Securities' vice-president for equity sales.
Wong said uncertainties among investors are likely to keep
the Hong Kong benchmark hovering around its current level,
within 21,200 to 21,800 points. The index has fallen 6 percent
since a high hit on Feb. 28.
China's State Council announced on Sunday it will invest in
urban infrastructure and transport networks as it seeks to
increase the country's urban population to 60 percent by 2020,
from 53.7 percent now.
Chinese property counters were buoyant, with China Vanke
and Poly Real Estate rising 2.6 percent
and 2.3 percent respectively.
Anhui Conch Cement rose 4.3 percent in
Hong Kong and 2.3 percent in Shanghai, while China State
Construction gained 1.1 percent in Shanghai.
In a widely expected move, the People's Bank of China
widened the yuan's trading band over the weekend, but this is
unlikely to have any effect on companies' profit margins for
Shares in Italian fashion house Prada slipped 2.9
percent after it announced on Friday buying 80 percent of the
company behind a Milanese pastry brand.
Internet giant Tencent slipped to its lowest since
Feb. 14 after China's central bank on Friday called for a halt
to certain types of mobile payment.
China Citic Bank Corp Ltd , which said
last week it would team up with Tencent on payments, continued
to dive after the mobile payment halt, slumping 7.7 percent in
Shanghai and 2 percent in Hong Kong.