* HSI -0.9 pct, H-shares -1.4 pct, CSI300 -1 pct
* Aluminium producers outperform on rise in prices
* Coal producers down as Beijing orders curbs on oversupply
* ZTE hits 8-1/2-month high after strong H1 earnings
(Updates to midday)
By Grace Li
HONG KONG, Aug 21 Hong Kong and China shares
weakened on Thursday after a preliminary private survey showed
growth in China's vast factory sector slowed to a three-month
low in August, reinforcing concerns about increasing softness in
The HSBC/Markit Flash China Manufacturing Purchasing
Managers' Index (PMI) fell to 50.3 from July's 18-month high of
51.7, missing a Reuters forecast of 51.5.
By midday, the CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and
Shenzhen A-share listings lost 1 percent, while the Shanghai
Composite Index was down 0.9 percent at 2,220.51 points.
Both slipped the most in two weeks.
The Hang Seng Index was off 0.9 percent at 24,927.05
points. The China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese
listings in Hong Kong fell 1.4 percent. If losses hold, these
would be their worst daily losses in six weeks.
Mark To, head of research at Hong Kong's Wing Fung Financial
Group, said profit-taking was obvious on Thursday and the PMI
survey was the trigger.
"Some consolidation is still quite healthy, because most of
the people are looking at the Shanghai-Hong Kong connect. That
should be a theme we can enjoy even for the coming few months,"
To said. The scheme, set to be launched in October, will allow
Chinese to invest in Hong Kong's H-shares and foreign investors
to buy Shanghai's A-shares through brokers located in Hong Kong.
"People may just have some kind of profit-taking and then
the other investors who haven't enjoyed the rally and ridden the
tide may choose to enter the market very soon."
PetroChina and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp
were top index drags in Shanghai, down 0.6 and 1.3
Coal stocks were broadly weaker as China's top economic
planner ordered local governments to step up supervision to
regulate coal output and to severely punish miners that produce
beyond their approved capacity.
China Shenhua Energy , the mainland's
biggest coal producer, shed 2.2 percent in Shanghai and 1.9
percent in Hong Kong.
Aluminium producers were key outperformers as the metal's
price hit a 1-1/2-year high overnight. Henan Mingtai
Al.Industrial rose 1.9 percent and Yunnan Aluminium
Earnings remained the focus for many other stocks.
ZTE Corp jumped more than 5 percent to its highest
since early December in early trade, after the Chinese telecom
equipment maker posted a record first-half net profit thanks to
improving margins and revenue from new contracts to build
China's next-generation telecom network. It finished the morning
session up 2.5 percent.
China Resources Power leapt 3.9 percent to a
15-month high. JP Morgan lifted the shares' target price to
HK$28.5 from HK$26.6 as the company's interim results beat
(Editing by Jacqueline Wong)