HONG KONG, June 27 Hong Kong shares ended mixed
on Friday after strong gains in the previous session, with
weakness in insurance stocks weighing on sentiment.
The benchmark Hang Seng Index closed up 0.1 percent
at 23,221.52 points, and eked out a similar rise for the week.
The China Enterprises Index of the leading offshore
Chinese listings in Hong Kong slipped 0.3 percent. It posted its
second straight weekly loss, down 0.9 percent.
Chinese insurers helped pull indexes lower. Ping An
Insurance Group Co of China shed 0.8 percent,
retreating from its 2-month high last week, while China Life
Insurance lost 0.5 percent.
In a research note dated June 19, Nomura reiterated its
bearish stance on the insurance sector, citing concerns about
the insurers' exposure to debt-investment plans.
Leading gains on the Hang Seng was again Want Want China
Holdings, which rose 2.4 percent to a one-month high
following a 5.3 percent jump on Thursday.
Daiwa Capital Markets initiated coverage on the company on
Thursday with a "buy" and said they expected "a re-rating in the
coming months, driven by a sales growth recovery from 2H14 and
operating margin expansion."
Standard Chartered PLC sank 4.5 percent to its
lowest in three months after it warned on Thursday that profits
would fall in 2014 for the second year in a row after first-half
earnings dropped by a fifth due to tougher regulation and low
market volatility in its trading business.
(Reporting by Grace Li; Editing by Kim Coghill)