(Updates to midday)
* HSI +0.6 pct, H-shares +0.7 pct, CSI300 +0.1 pct
* Defensive strength in HK, non-bank financials outperform
* China property sinks on Beijing's plan to cut inequality
* Macau gaming dives on report of 'junket' crackdown
By Clement Tan
HONG KONG, Feb 6 Hong Kong shares rebounded from
the previous day's tumble to a one-month low, helped by strength
in China Mobile and other defensive counters that showed
investors remain cautious.
Chinese property developers sank on Wednesday after a plan
Beijing announced late on Tuesday to tackle inequality included
an expansion of a property tax pilot programme to more cities.
The Hang Seng Index went into the midday trading
break up 0.6 percent at 23,227.8 points, with technical
resistance seen at 23,407, the bottom end of a gap that opened
up on the chart after Tuesday's 2.3 percent fall, the biggest
drop loss in three months.
The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese
listings in Hong Kong rose 0.7 percent. In the mainland, the
CSI300 ended a choppy morning session up 0.1 percent,
while the Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.1 percent.
Peter So, co-head of research for China Construction Bank
International Securities, said parts of Beijing's plan - such as
for property taxes and interest rate liberalisation - have been
talked about previously.
He said he expects that listed state-owned enterprises may
see more muted performance in the second half, when more details
emerge that could affect their market share.
Beijing's reiteration of its commitment to push
market-oriented interest rate reforms spurred an outperformance
by the non-banking financial sector and smaller Chinese banks.
Ping An Insurance climbed 4.1 percent
in Shanghai and 1.1 percent in Hong Kong. Citic Securities
rose 3 percent in Shanghai and 2.5 percent in Hong
Popular defensive plays, which lagged behind as more
growth-sensitive stocks powered the rally from lows last year,
were broadly higher. Hong Kong utilities provider Power Assets
gained 1.6 percent, while China Mobile rose
Hong Kong developers mostly rebounded from a fall on Tuesday
stemming from comments by the territory's de facto central bank
chief, which sparked fears of more property market curbs. Wharf
Holdings was up 2.4 percent.
China's moribund B-share market were also strong on
Wednesday after the official Shanghai Securities News reported
that Zhejiang Southeast Electric Power submitted its
plan to convert its dollar-denominated B-shares into new
WILL THEY OR WON'T THEY?
The Chinese property sector, roiled in the past few weeks on
conflicting signs on whether property taxes will be expanded in
the mainland, was a key source of weakness in both on- and
China Vanke shed 1.5 percent in Shenzhen, Poly
Real Estate slid 1.9 percent in Shanghai, while
China Overseas Land fell 1.7 percent in Hong Kong.
The Macau gambling sector was hit by a report in The Times
of London that Beijing is planning a crackdown later in February
on triad-linked "junket" operators who bring high-rolling
gamblers into Macau from mainland China.
Shares of Wynn Macau, SJM Holdings,
Melco International and MGM China dove by
more than 7 percent, while Sands China was down 6
(Editing by Richard Borsuk)