* HSI +0.4 pct, H-shares +0.9 pct, CSI300 -0.1 pct
* China banks lead HK rise, resurgent A-shares chased
* China Rongsheng hammered after warning of loss
By Clement Tan
HONG KONG, Dec 27 Hong Kong shares climbed to a
near 17-month high in holiday-thinned Thursday trade, catching
up on strong gains in mainland markets during the 2-1/2 day
break taken for Christmas.
But onshore China markets slipped from their highest levels
since July as investors took profits on stocks in the financial
and resource-related sectors.
The Hang Seng Index went into the midday trading
break up 0.4 percent at 22,636.9, hovering around its highest
since Aug. 1, 2011. Stiff chart resistance is next seen at
around 22,800, peaks seen in July and August 2011.
The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese
listings in Hong Kong rose 0.9 percent. The Shanghai Composite
Index and CSI300 of the top Shanghai and
Shenzhen listings each slipped 0.1 percent.
Gains exceeding 3 percent in the first three days of the
week lifted both onshore China indexes to their most overbought
levels in more than two years.
"There's an element of catching up in today's trading," said
Larry Jiang, chief investment strategist at Guotai Junan
"The strong A-share performance over the last few days is
definitely a factor and will continue to support gains in Hong
Kong as more details of reform and signs of earnings and
economic recovery emerge," Jiang added.
On Thursday, data showed the annual growth of China's
industrial profits quickened to 22.8 percent in November from
October's 20.5 percent, reinforcing signs of a steady economic
recovery thanks to pro-growth policies.
In Hong Kong, shares of Bank of China rose 1.2
percent, with smaller banking sector rivals such as China
Minsheng Bank seeing bigger percentage gains, rising
On Thursday, however, these smaller banking counters
suffered bigger losses. In Shanghai, Minsheng Bank
shed 1.7 percent, while Bank of China slipped 0.4
The same trend emerged in the resurgent A-share market in
the previous two days and extended beyond the banking sector.
Anhui Conch Cement rose 1.1 percent in
Hong Kong but tumbled 2.7 percent in Shanghai after gaining
nearly 3 percent during the first three days of this week.
ALL STILL NOT WELL IN CHINA?
China Rongsheng Heavy Industries Group tumbled 7.4
percent after it warned of an annual net loss for 2012 on sharp
declines in orders and prices of new vessels due to the shipping
industry's downward turn.
Losses so far on Thursday took shares of the mainland's
largest shipbuilder to their lowest in almost three weeks. The
stock is now down 41.6 percent this year, compared to the 22.8
percent gain on the Hang Seng Index.
Chinese property counters were weaker in both markets. Poly
Real Estate slipped 0.7 percent from Wednesday's
three-year closing high in Shanghai, while China Overseas Land
shed 0.7 percent in Hong Kong.