* HSI +0.1 pct, H-shares -0.2 pct, CSI300 +0.1 pct
* Cheung Kong's steady 2013 sales target lifts HK developers
* Moutai up, Guizhou rep at NPC says growth intact
By Clement Tan
HONG KONG, March 7 Hong Kong shares went into
Thursday's midday break slightly higher as investors took profit
on banking counters, which had led gains the past two sessions,
and rotated into laggards ahead of key U.S. and China data on
Property developers climbed after Cheung Kong Holdings
maintained its 2013 Hong Kong sales target at HK$30
billion (US$3.9 billion), a level similar to the 2012 target,
after peers had reduced their goals.
The Hang Seng Index was up 0.1 percent at 22,800.2
points, reversing early losses. The China Enterprises Index
of the leading Chinese listings in Hong Kong slipped 0.2
In the mainland, the CSI300 of the top Shanghai
and Shenzhen A-share listings inched up 0.1 percent, while the
Shanghai Composite Index was flat as strength in alcohol
producers offset weakness in mid-sized banks.
"There's some profit taking today after the rebound in the
last two days," said Jackson Wong, Tanrich Securities'
vice-president for equity sales. "We have been in this
consolidation phase for more than two weeks now, so we are due a
break up or down soon."
Cheung Kong climbed 1.6 percent, paring this week's losses.
Hysan Development gained 0.8 percent after reporting a
24 percent growth in 2012 underlying profit after markets closed
Shares of global supply chain manager Li & Fung
jumped 3.5 percent after a private survey showed U.S.
private-sector hiring was surprisingly strong in February. On
Friday, the U.S. government's closely watched non-farm payrolls
report comes out.
Chinese shippers were also broadly stronger. China Shipping
Development rose 3.2 percent, while China Cosco
climbed 3.7 percent in Hong Kong and 1.9
percent in Shanghai.
CHINA'S NATIONAL CONGRESS MOVES MARKETS
Chinese premium alcohol producers led index gains in the
mainland after a delegate from Guizhou province at China's
annual parliamentary meeting in Beijing was reported to have
said a cut in public spending won't impact growth in the
Kweichow Moutai, based in Guizhou, jumped 3.4
percent to its highest in almost two weeks. Wuliangye
gained 2.1 percent in Shenzhen. The sector has been
hurt by anti-corruption calls by the country's incoming leaders.
Liquor is often offered as gifts in China.
Chinese banks were mostly weaker after the country's banking
regulator was quoted by People's Daily as saying Beijing is
planning to announce new policies to control credit availability
for the property sector in line with intensifying curbs
announced late last week.
China Merchants Bank shed 1.4 percent
in Shanghai and 0.8 percent in Hong Kong. Shenzhen-listed Ping
An Bank fell 1.6 percent from its highest in almost
three years on Wednesday.
Beijing is due to release February trade data on Friday and
data for inflation, urban investment, industrial output and
retail sales on Saturday, with monthly money supply and loan
growth data expected from Sunday.